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Hallelujah Moment from South Africa: "I Got Tested for HIV"

by Hannah Hanson

Missionaries Elmira Sellu, Hannah Hanson and others in Africa.
Missionaries Elmira Sellu (far left) and Hannah Hanson (fourth from left).
Image by: Courtesy Hannah Hanson

May 28, 2010

So we all got into a taxi and headed for the clinic in Alberton. After an introduction and some questions, we were asked if we wanted to be tested for HIV. I was actually hoping all of the students regardless of age or material status would get tested.

Some students were tested for the first time. Can you imagine that kind of pressure? Tests always present pressure, and even the things you think you know may not be valid. So I went in the room with the nurse, had my finger pricked, and waited to see the results.

I am a big proponent of accepting testing. I think it keeps people from perpetuating the stigma.

When I came out of the room, I was careful with my facial expressions, because everyone’s status is their own and I didn’t want to affect anyone else’s feelings.

My exit counseling was a little rushed, but the experience gave us all better insight to relate to the people we were meeting in the home based care visits.

This story is an excerpt from a longer story that can be read at:

Hannah Hanson is a Mission Intern--a young adult, three-year missionary of The United Methodist Church--who is working as a teacher and farmer at a center for sojourners, SHADE, in Johannesburg, South Africa.

SHADE stands for Sojourners: Help, Advocacy, Development, and Education. SHADE replaces the words "immigrant" and "refugee," with the Biblical word, "sojourner," to endow displaced families and travelers with a sense of dignity as they escape persecution and seek God.

The Alberton health clinic is a ministry of the Alberton Methodist Church.

Ways to Support this Ministry


Go to:

To learn about becoming an international young adult missionary, link to:

Hallelujah Moments
Celebrations of United Methodist Mission.
Get Hallelujah Moments, inspirational mission stories, in your email by sending a request to: or sign up on the web.

Bulletin inserts are available in the following formats:

Portable Document Format Color (PDF, 2 pp., 98 KB) or Portable Document Format Black and White (PDF, 2 pp., 161 KB)

Word Document Format Color (Word, 2 pp., 162 KB) or Word Document Format Black and White (Word, 2 pp., 162KB)

Worship Bridge

The wonderfully joyous "Amen Siakudumisa / Amen, We Praise Your Name, O God" (Global Praise 1:4, The Faith We Sing #2067) is one way we can praise God for all the persons who are serving in ministries in South Africa such as SHADE.

If you are able spend a few minutes before worship teaching the low-voice men the "fill" sung pattern that is sung after each of the melody line phrase - do it! They will have so much fun singing and the congregation will pick up on the joy of the song. For accompaniment, consider using a light shaker playing straight eighth notes on top of a strong hand drum pattern. This song can be used in so many ways in worship: as call to worship, response to the scripture, as a response to a time of joy or prayer of thanksgiving.

The possibilities for praising God in worship are unlimited. Children, youth, and adult choirs will enjoy leading this song. Once the song is in your congregation's memory banks, add hand clapping, colorful streamers, and liturgical dancers to the procession! Praise God Together! Global Praise 1 and all Global Praise resources are available from Cokesbury Music Service (1-877-877-8764 or email, from Cokesbury (1-800-672-1789 or, or your local dealer.

Your local church may choose to enter into a multi-year Covenant Relationship with Hannah Hanson, Elmira Sellu,  or other United Methodist missionaries, for ongoing support of their work. For further information, please contact:

The Advance
General Board of Global Ministries
475 Riverside Dr, #350
New York, NY 10115
Phone: 212-870-3718
Fax: 212-870-3775



You can make gifts to support the mission work of Hannah Hanson, Elmira Sellu, by making a donation through The Advance. The Advance is an accountable, designated giving arm of The United Methodist Church that ensures 100% of each gift reaches its intended mission or ministry.

Make a secure gift online: Visit Global Ministries Online Giving

Checks may be written to 'Advance GCFA' and placed in collection plates at United Methodist churches, or mailed directly to:

Advance GCFA,
P.O. Box 9068, GPO,
New York, NY 10087-9068.

Credit card donations may be made by calling
(888) 252-6174.

Please note on your check the name and The Advance Number of the missionary you are supporting:

Hannah Hanson, Advance Number: 13105Z
>> Biography
Elmira Sellu, Advance Number: 14019Z
>> Biography

See Also...
Topic: AIDS/HIV Health Welfare Focus on Global Health
Geographic Region: South Africa
Source: GBGM Mission News

arrow icon. View Listing of Missionaries Currently Working in: South Africa   

Date posted: May 27, 2010