Hi my name is David Hill. I have been a Christian now for 25 years and while it times it has been tough, if I had a hundred lives to live, I would live them all for Jesus.
I was born 09/04/1971 and raised on the Shankill Road to a working class couple. Our first house was in Morpeth Street although I don’t remember much about that and then we moved to Bootle Street just off Tennant Street when I was about three or four. Whilst my parents were not Christians and there was little of the gospel in our house, like many kids in the area we were faithfully sent to Sunday school in Matchett Street Gospel Hall. It has to be said though I skipped it sometimes and just spent my collection money on sweets, but I can remember Mr Tully telling us about Jesus and how He loved us from an early age and how He died for us. From the age of twelve I started to smoke and wanted to be ‘one of the lads.’ Not that I had wanted to but I just wanted to someone or something, it seemed to be a cool thing to do and so I did it, I have since learned that one that runs with animals catches fleas, I began to pick up things and habits that my mates had and I didn’t want to be left out.
My father died when I was eleven through an overdose and my mother was left to rear my older brother Stephen and I. Looking back she had to put up with a heck of a lot and with no father figure around my brother and I put her through turmoil with mitching school, gambling habits and glue sniffing to name but a few, but she was a strong woman with two jobs and she done her best for my brother and I. One thing I do remember she had an incredible work ethic and often worked through her holidays right up to when she retired.
I thank God that I never really liked alcohol much and I didn’t do drugs but a vice that is just as bad if not worse was gambling whether it was slot machines or the horses or pitch and toss, I have to say I gambled virtually every penny that I had whether it be in school or in the bookies. Ivan Thompson ( who is now with The Lord ) once said to me that in his gambling days his friend said to him in the bookies one day “Ivan “ he said “we are mad “ to which Ivan said “what are you talking about”his friend said “well there is six holes up there, five to put your money in and only one to take it out. “words which I didn’t forget and how true that is. It is one of the curses of society and has left many a family destitute and broken because they were chained to this terrible addiction. Jesus said “if the Son makes you free, you shall be free indeed.”Mark 8 v 36. form the age of twelve until I was sixteen my head thought of little else but gambling in one shape or form.
I had been from about sixteen been attending the 93rd Boys Brigade and its captain Billy Quigley whom I have high regard had a football team which I loved and played regularly. I got into the BB team and it was I suppose the only restbite that I had in the week from my addiction. One night I just became overwhelmed by the way my life was going and the hassle I was causing my mother that I asked to speak to Billy in one of the rooms that was available in Glenwood school and I broke down and cried in front of Billy and told him what my life was about. He calmed me down and presented a little booklet called ‘Way to Life which illustrated how you got from the sinn you where in to Gods Love and redemption and that a great gulf was between the two and that the Cross of Jesus bridged that gap. He told me that the new minister in the Church was bringing a gospel band to the church the following week and that I should go and see what I think.
The following week I went and heard the band (which I cant remember the name of) and shortly afterwards Gordon McDaid the minister came and spoke to me and that is when I gave my life to Christ. Gordon assured me that if I gave my life to Christ and gave my problems to him and allow Him to work in my life, through time I would see what Jesus could do and how right he was. Im far from perfect but Praise God Im not what I was. I have a wonderful wife Donna and two wonderful kids Rebekah and Sophie. We belong to a wonderful church Living Hope just off the Shankill Road.