I have no doubt that there are many people who are trapped by the responsibilities they have. Some go on while dreading the loss of their job. But some others jump ship and go start a new life – not always for the better. Some get into their 50’s when it happens – they get made redundant. Some act in such a way to keep their security that their whole family, whom the breadwinner is slaving for, suffer, think Workaholic with no time for home life.
Well, I was no different, I had to work to support my family. Then, due to the illness of my then wife, I faced a difficult period.
This is an excerpt from my Testimony
In 1979, I felt strongly that the Holy Spirit was calling me to fully examine my family and myself in order to reach those who were where I was. God had opened a way for me into further education in which I was to obtain an HNC in Business Studies.
For the six years following my Spiritual conversion, I was to become deeply involved in the organisation of my local Church.
I became a member of the Parochial Church Council. Spoke at three Family Services, two Sunday school Festivals and in three homes. The whole Family actually took an entire service at short notice in the absence of the Vicar. I was instrumental in obtaining permission for building a Coffee Bar in the Church Hall. I was invited to be leader of a ‘Care to Say Something’ study group and the first Nurture Group, both held in our home.
We attended a Vocation & Ministry weekend with CPAS but discovered that the denominational route to Christian service did not fit as no questions were asked of my Spiritual gifts and experiences with Jesus.
Mission England needed counsellors so I enrolled on their training course and was used in the Villa Park Rallies. I also counselled at a University Mission.
So much for suicide in the home restricting Christian service! A statement that was commonly implied.
A Carers Leap of Faith
Throughout 1984, I spent many long periods struggling in prayer over what to do about our situation. After the birth of our second daughter, my wife tried once more to kill herself. The neighbours who had been helping me to care for the girls while I was at work decided, quite rightly, that due to old age and illness, they should retire near to their Son. I could find no replacement. Neither the Social Services nor any other Agency helped.
The Holy Spirit guided me to give up paid employment in order to cope with the pressure of my wife’s illness on the children, and the debts it was leading us into as a result of social penalties we were suffering due to the behaviour of others towards us. She would then have the opportunity to go back to work thus relieving her of the pressures that were so damaging to her health.
This Holy Spirit counselled decision of mine to cease paid employment was to be the start of the widening gap between the Christian Church Leaders and myself.
This time was also an opportunity to offer my gifts to the local Christian Churches in order to make a stand for Jesus in our community. Mission England had offered me a voluntary position promoting Growth Groups in the northern half of Leicestershire. I had also enquired about London City Mission, which led to a two and a half hour interview in London followed later by an enquirer’s weekend in Felixstowe. Both these went well but we all felt that it was right to wait and see what happened in our village first. I even attended an excellent day seminar with Selwynn Hughes on the subject of counselling. As an aid to my decision making about how my ministry was to fit into church life I wrote to several Bible Colleges. It was a desperate time!
Giving in my notice at work brought me an unexpected chance to witness for Jesus. My Employers, Caterpillar Tractor in Desford, had employed me for six years, and at my farewell party in a crowded Public House, my colleagues presented me with a five-foot tall wooden cross. I stood there in the middle of the bar sharing how much Jesus meant to me and how that I wished that they would love him also. All the while they were jokingly crying out, “Please, no preaching!” As I left, a young man standing at the bar said, God bless you. The next day at work some that knew of the pressures I was under shared how much they envied me for my faith and peace.
Rejected by the Church
It was at this time that I began to experience Spiritual Gifts! The Holy Spirit was giving me advanced warnings of several events and visions of future works of the Lord. My prayers suddenly started to be answered, although where we were concerned’ perplexity still reigned. To the point where I became thoroughly dispirited, especially at the way church people were refusing to be open with me. My vicar had also informed me that he held me responsible for my wife’s suicidal behaviour, which really upset the girls whom from then on disliked him immensely.
Chosen by Jesus
Hard as it may be for you to believe, during this very difficult and confusing period in my life, the Lord Jesus actually appeared to me. It was in 1984. I was watching Top of the Pops on a Thursday night and as I sat there in a fog of despondency, I clearly heard a voice tell me to go upstairs to my bedroom.
There, in a bright ghostly image, Jesus asked me, “Are you really serious?”
What a shock, I sank to my knees and did not know what to do, so I just answered, “Yes, Lord!”
Afterwards I rang the vicar to share what had happened.
I waited for the Church of England to summon me for questioning. They never did, and the vicar was never to mention it again!
This experience has kept me going during these past 31 years of spiritual opposition and social isolation. I know that my Lord Jesus is alive today, and no amount of cold water poured over me by false teachers will ever stop me testifying to that fact.
My Faith is in Him Alone
Can you be confident of the truth that Jesus is alive today? Yes, you can! The Holy Bible certainly gives us plenty of evidence of the most important truth that we must believe and experience with all our heart if we are to overcome our sin and the sin of others.
Ac 1:3a After his suffering, he showed himself to these men and gave many convincing proofs that he was alive…(NIV holy bible) Mk 16:9; Mt 28:9; Lk 24:15; Lk 24:36; 1 Co 15:5; Jn 20:19; Jn 20:26; Jn 21:1; 1 Co 15:6; Mt 28:17-18; 1 Co 15:7; Lk 24:50; Ac 9:5-6: Ac 26:14-18; Ac 18:9-10; Ac 22:17-21; Ac 23:11; Ac 26:19, 22-23.
The truth never dies
Looking back on these years I can see that there were many times when I could not reasonably be a judge of peoples right or wrong where treatment of my family was concerned. I am to be a Witness, not a Judge.
A long, long, long time ago the Lord gave a message to the Jews through his prophet Isaiah.
‘I will lead the blind by ways they have not known,
along unfamiliar paths I will guide them;
I will turn the darkness into light before them
and make the rough places smooth.
These are the things I will do;
I will not forsake them.’
This my loving Lord Jesus did for my family and I. To be sure, we did not always handle it well. In fact I had a major breakdown due to the stress. But this is a good thing as I can promise you, that no matter what, if you are being led by the Holy Spirit of God, the Lord Jesus will not forsake you.
However, and this is so very important, you must be in His will or it may not be the Holy Spirit who is leading you. Galatians 5:22 ‘But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law.’
The late Rev. Ken Newton, see my tribute video, returned to the Birmingham Bible Institute after we had left, and a Student said that this is what Ken had said to everybody, “God can use the Hill Family because they do not think that they can be used. However, many of you (the students he was addressing) think that you can help God, and that is why he can’t use you.”
This meant no credit to the Hill Family, it was just the truth. While at BBI we did amazing things and yet we were in a mess. Hopefully we were a witness to the truth that the Lord shared through Isaiah.
The Hill Family are currently in a good place. Thanks be to God our Father, the Lord Jesus our Saviour, and the Holy Spirit our Power.
We are a Witness to the truth and don’t the Devil and his Followers hate it. Oh, they really do!
But though we hate their behaviour, we still love them and seek to be good-willing towards them, that they might turn from their darkness and into the light of Jesus Christ. The Lord of All and the only one who can save their lost souls.
That is my prayer, that we will continue to be used as Witnesses for our perfectly loving Lord Jesus. Bless his Holy and Wonderful Name, the Name that is above all Names. A perfect Lord to whom all should bow down and thank Him for their chance of salvation.
Let Him, through the Holy Spirit of God, lead you onto and down that narrow road that leads to the Gate of Heaven.
Trust in the Lord with all your heart
and lean not on your own understanding;
6 in all your ways submit to him,
and he will make your paths straight. [Or will direct your paths]
Read my Home Page it contains all that you need to know.
Your greatest aim in life should be to enter heaven when you die.