A Legacy of Faith: Mr. Rees Howells
Part two of a series of reflections from Rees Howells: Intercessor (book by Norman Grubb) by Emma, in collaboration with Faithworks Bookstore (Original article: https://faithworks.com.sg/blogs/bible-college-of-wales/a-legacy-of-faith-rees-howells)
'If God has called you to do something, He will pay the bills,” - I clearly remember these words from a teaching session by Pastor Nicky Raiborde as a student at the Bible College of Wales (BCW) three years ago. He spoke about his own experiences in ministry, traveling to different nations as the Lord directed. With so little in the bank, he depended on the Lord to show up and provide for his needs. 'No matter how many times you have said yes before, it isn’t easy. It’s always a bold step of faith.”
If there was someone who truly understood faith, it would undoubtedly be Mr. Rees Howells. As I turned the pages of Intercessor, I gleaned three lessons from his legacy of faith that truly challenged me to reconsider what it meant to depend on the Lord wholeheartedly.
Clinging on to nothing else When the Lord called him out of wage-earning, he took one bold step of faith to leave his job. At that point, he was no longer active in ministry and was not in constant contact with fellow Christians who would readily bless him. The Lord had impressed on him that the real life of faith meant depending on no man, most of all his family. And what I found to be shocking was that he decided to never take a meal at home without paying for it. He wanted all to know that it was the Lord alone who kept him, just as He did for George Muller. His unshakable resolve to trust in God’s promises left me pondering on where my security lies. Psalm 20:7 says that, "some trust in chariots and some in horses, but we believers can trust in the name of the LORD our God." It is easy to put our security in our jobs, education qualifications, investments or families. But these things can easily crumble, and the only kingdom that stands forever is the Lord’s. His name is a Strong Tower.
Only making his needs known to the Lord Mr. Howells did not reveal his needs to anyone but the Lord. He believed that God would act on his behalf to move the hearts of man to bless him as he prayed. I’m amazed by the rest he found in the Lord, such that he saw no need to strive for anything. Whether it was for his life, for others or for the BCW, he looked to God instead of running a fundraiser like many would today. In fact, he had only two shillings when the Lord first spoke about purchasing the first property for the BCW, worth about 10,000 pounds on that day. He saw his extremity as God’s opportunity and contended for provision for all four properties of the BCW! Interestingly, God always sent His supply in parts, and we can be assured that when He gives us partial answers, He is in the business of stretching our faith.
Blessing others in his time of need When a need was revealed to Mr. Howells, he would always bless others. He knew that everything he had belonged to God and always had full assurance that God would replenish what he lacked in the nick of time. His faith continued to inspire those he led at the BCW and the batches that followed. Some of the most generous and loving people I know are those who readily bless others despite not having much themselves. They will remind me that the Lord loves to give good gifts to His children, and it is a joy being in their presence because they are bubbling vessels of the Father’s love! In knowing Him deeply, they can trust Him to do exceedingly more than any of us can ask or imagine. (Eph 3:20) "The next time you have a need, sow a seed of faith and meet someone else’s,” I recall Pastor Nicky reiterate in class. In this season, I have been learning to let God stretch my faith to trust him for what I need. He is truly Jehovah Jireh, and desires for us to experience His unfailing provision so that we can sow seeds of faith in the lives of others!