THE RHONDDA VALLEY.
"Oh" have said our South Wales folks, again and again," you must go up the Rhondda. All the worst folks in Wales are said to live up there and that is just the place for the Mission;" and so up "up the Rhondda" we are found today. Brother Hayter being stationed at Treherbert and Sister Kate Shepherd is at Pentre.
THESE places are both in the Valley, which has a population of some 40,000 people, and are about four miles apart. At this latter, we have a suitable and convenient accommodation, except that it is altogether too small. From the opening Sunday, crowds have flocked to hear, and already we are rejoiced by news of the Salvation of some of the "Rhondda Rowdies" as they were described to us by a Welshman the other day. Writing after the opening Sunday, February 9th, Sister Kate Shepherd says:-
"We had a good day on Sunday. We had one soul and £1 6s 10d collection. On Monday we had a blessed time, the place was crowded and two souls saved. Pray for me that the Lord will save precious souls. I believe we shall have a smash.
Feb 14th - Last night we had seven souls. Blessed time. Place crowded. Hundreds outside cannot get in. Not half big enough.
- glad to tell you we had a good day Sunday, 24 souls and on Monday 19 souls for Jesus.
Bless the Lord. The Hall is so crowded we cannot move. On Sunday afternoon we had to have the meeting in the open air. There were hundreds of people. I stood on a hill and they stood around. I never saw such a sight in my life, On Friday eight souls and Saturday three. Please send me some help as soon as possible.
Feb 19. Blessed time Tuesday night. Twenty-five souls came out and found the Lord. Great big men. Oh praise the Lord, He is working here. I forgot to tell you we had a procession on Sunday. Thousands of people followed"
Pentre and Ystrad for Jesus.
From, 'The Salvationist', March 1879, page 62.
Captain Louisa Lock and four men refused to pay fines for obstruction and were therefore sentenced to be jailed for three days in Cardiff Prison. When the day arrived three thousand escorted them to the police station where they then got on a train. Several people offered to pay the fine, but Miss Lock refused and off they went to jail.
While they were away 26 pastors got together to discuss this religious persecution and to organise a demonstration against it.
On returning home, the prisoners were greeted by thousands of well wishers.
This is my tiny summary of four full pages of a newspaper report on the subject in 'The Salvationist', October 1879, pages 261-5. Tragically, Captain Louisa Lock, who was not a strong woman, picked up an illness in prison and died 18 months later.