The Bible College of Wales and the Bible College School, which the Lord led His servant to found and direct, continue their activities exactly the same as before. The staff of the Bible College, Hospital, School, and Home for missionaries’ children total ninety-eight, with Mr. Samuel Howells, M.A., as honorary director. These with a few older friends who are a part of the College family, formed the company of intercessors through the war years. Hardly any of them have been at the College less than ten years, and some up to fifteen and twenty years. All are first of all intercessors, both by their self-giving and prayer life in the Every Creature Vision; and in addition they use their gifts and training in various forms of ministry. It has been a fulfillment of that promise to Mr. Howells of “every willing, skillful worker.” Many are teachers; there are three doctors, six nurses, two hold musical degrees, others are secretaries, domestic workers, gardeners, mechanics, and so on. The entire staff have walked with God by faith all these years, so far as personal needs are concerned. They have learned in the secret place to move the Throne for personal needs. No salaries or allowances are paid. Everything is supplied in answer to prayer. It is remarkable that during the financial year 1950 — 51, the first year since the Lord took Mr. Howells to Himself, God has sent more finance than in any single year in the history of the College.
The Bible College gives students a two-year course for foreign and home fields at a charge much lower than the actual cost, tuition being given free. The morning and evening prayer meetings remain the center of the spiritual life of the place. Students have the normal courses of lectures on Scriptural and other subjects.
The College has its own hospital, which can hold about twenty-five patients, built on the grounds of Derwen Fawr, and used largely for cases of illness among the children in the school, and often for missionaries on furlough. The Lord continues to give the College specific prayer burdens for the healing of sick people. The College doctors and nurses get through to God personally for the supply of most medicines, besides their own needs.
God’s hand has been markedly on the Bible College School from its commencement. It stands almost unique in Britain as a Preparatory and Secondary School with high scholastic attainments, yet with every member of the staff a consecrated servant of Jesus Christ, putting the winning of the boys and girls to Him before everything else. From the eleven scholars who attended when the School opened in 1933, the numbers have risen to 400 boys and girls, from the age of five to eighteen. With Dr. Kingsley C. Priddy, M.B., B.S., D.T.M. & H. as headmaster, and Miss Doris M. Ruscoe, B.A., as headmistress, there is a staff of thirty-three masters and mistresses, fourteen of whom hold University degrees, and the remainder Teachers’ Certificates; one holds a diploma of Physical Education.
The School invited the Government to send their inspectors down in 1948, so that they might have official recognition, and both the Preparatory and Secondary Grammar Schools were accepted by them as “efficient”. During these years twenty-two scholars have graduated at Universities, seven taken medical degrees, twenty-five passed through Teachers’ Training Colleges, and about” twenty become trained nurses. Of these a dozen have come back, called of the Lord to be members of the School staff. Financially, the staff of the School — like the College staff — is on the basis of personal faith, without salary or allowance.
On three or four occasions God’s Spirit has moved in a remarkable way among both boys and girls, with outbreaks of revival and many conversions, although no kind of undue pressure is put upon the pupils; there is a healthy balance of the threefold development of spirit, mind anti body. The evidence of the Lord’s all-round blessing on the school is its great popularity in Swansea and the surrounding districts. Parents of all types, not by any means always those who directly sympathize with the College in its religious faith, make a point of sending their children there.
Outstanding in the center of the school life is the original purpose for which it was founded, to provide a home for missionaries’ children. Into the home has come a steady stream of the children of those who have gone out to preach the Gospel in distant lands. The number for several years has averaged sixty-five. It is marvelous to see how happy the family is, both in school and home life. From the beginning the Lord led Mr. Howells only to charge half fees to missionaries for the boarding and education of their children. From its commencement God has called Miss G. Roderick to be Matron of the School, and during the years she has been joined by a staff of fifteen helpers.
Besides the interest of the College in all missionary activities, there are some centers in the foreign fields which have been directly occupied by students from the College, who retain their links as being sent forth by the Holy Ghost from the College. The first is a Mission house in Paris, with a hall and flats, which was bought by Mr. Howells thirteen years ago, and where there is a staff of five. The aim is to start a Bible College for training Continental students, in connection with this center.
Then at the direct request of the Emperor of Ethiopia, one of the College doctors, Dr. Margaret FitzHerbert, M.R.C.O.G., specialist in obstetrics and gynecology, has gone out to take charge of those departments in the Haile Selassie I Hospital in Addis Ababa. Some nurses have also joined her. In this strategic position they can be witnesses for Christ in the heart of the capital, without being “professional missionaries”.
In Lebanon, two senior Armenian workers, who have long had a mission school for about a hundred children, have now been joined by two members from the College. Following a visit to the Middle East by Mr. Samuel Howells, plans are now in hand to open a missionary center in the old city of Jerusalem, and several now in the College are expecting to go there.
In addition to these direct branches of the College, which are running over the wall into distant lands, there are links of co-operation with evangelistic missionaries in India, Nigeria, and Brazil, where College students are working, besides those students who have joined the various missionary societies.
Summer Conferences are held in the college, and doubtless there will be many to whom God speaks through reading this life of His servant, who will want to come, maybe from the ends of the earth, to have living and personal fellowship with the company at the College, either as visitors or students. Such are welcomed, and communication may always be made with Mrs. Rees Howells, the widow of the late Director,. who continues her rich ministry of faith and love in the midst of the College family — at the Bible College of Wales, Derwen. Fawr, Swansea, South Wales.