Lillian Trasher: Mother of the Nile

Happy Saturday to all my readers!

If you're like me you're looking forward to a nice relaxing spring break this coming week. :D Unfortunately not, but it will still be very fun I'm sure. :)
So, let's get on with the first part of the "Extraordinary People of the Past" series starting with Lillian Trasher who was nicknamed "Nile Mother of Egypt"-

I first read about her many years ago in the book "Lillian Trasher: The Greatest Wonder in Egypt". That is a great book, by the way, if you'd like to read more about her! (And all the other books by Janet and Geoff Benge) I don't actually remember much about her from that book since it was many years ago, but I do remember that she had a remarkable faith in God and that's (part) of the reason I picked her for the first person in my series. Well...the main reason was because one of my readers suggested her. (; But anyway...

Lillian Trasher was born in Jacksonville, Florida, but grew up in Georgia most of her life. (Ok, it will get more interesting than this:) When she was pretty young she briefly went to Bible school and then headed off to North Carolina to serve as a assistant at a orphanage there. She kept asking the Lord for guidance on what she should do with her life. I'm sure like many of us she wasn't sure what she wanted to do with her life, but she knew she wanted to serve her Savior in whatever ways she could, big or small. 

After waiting and praying she thought she had found her answer. A missionary who served in India came to speak and Lillian decided she wanted to serve the Lord in Africa. She asked her fiance to join her there, but he declined and he said they could post-pone there wedding until she came back, thinking this was just a short-term thing. But Lillian new that this was not just a couple months trip, but this is what she wanted to do with her life. I can't imagine how hard it must have been telling him that there wasn't going to be a wedding. But she did it and told her fiance that they needed to cancel their wedding. 

And at last she started to support raise. But nobody wanted to help her! I'm sure this was hard for her thinking that she knew what God wanted her to do...so why wasn't he letting it happen?? After a while she attended a missionary conference where a man spoke who served in Egypt. The pastor invited her to join him serving there when he went back and she decided God was calling her there instead. This is such a great example of how our plans are never our own. We may plan out how we want our life to go, but in the end God is always going to have the final say. I'm certainly guessing this was difficult for her to suddenly tell everyone she wasn't going to Africa, but to Egypt! But she knew that God had His hand in this and He would be with her wherever she went. 

But, she probably was still a little unsure...is this really where God wants me to go? Before she left people said that she should randomly open her Bible and read the first verse she first saw. When she did I imagine she was shocked for it couldn't have been clearer where she should go. The verse said "I have indeed seen the oppression of my people in Egypt. I have heard their groaning and have come down to set them free. Now come, I will send you back to Egypt." Wow! That is pretty clear. :)

So, she left for Egypt with her sisters in 1910 carrying less than $100 dollars. Soon after arriving a dying woman brought her baby to Lillian and asked her to care for her. About a year later she started an orphanage where she lived entirely by faith. An excerpt from the book that I mentioned above says: 

"Do you mean to say you have no food for tomorrow?" the Egyptian man sputtered. "Well, yes," Lillian replied. The man exclaimed, "How awful! Will you be able to sleep tonight?" One of the orphan girls laughed out loud and said, "Why, Mama never has any food for tomorrow, and she never loses sleep over it!"

That is pretty incredible thinking that she was carrying the weight of feeding probably 25-30 orphans in her care. Doesn't that make us a little ashamed of worrying about things like if we're going to be able to go to that birthday party or go on that trip that we've waited forever for. God is faithful and He was definitely faithful for Lillian Trasher! 

About 8 years after arriving in Egypt she had started an orphanage and had 80 children to care for and feed each day. She also had set up a Bible study and a school. By 1924 she had 300 orphans that she was caring for plus she didn't have her sister to help her because she had left to go back to the United States. She continued to care for the orphans until her death.  

So...what can we learn from Lillian? Well, I would say we can first learn to pray and trust God with our future even when we have no idea what we want to do with it! And expect to do great things for God...but don't think that the little thing's don't matter either. I'm sure changing diapers and feeding little kids in North Carolina wasn't Lillian's idea of doing great thing's for God, but that preparing her for caring for hundreds of children later on. God blesses everything that is done for His honor. Also I think another thing we can learn from Lillian's life is that our life is not our own and we need to trust God that He knows what is best for us and if He is calling us to do something completely different than we think we need to do it! And lastly, I think we can learn that God is faithful...in the big things and in the small things He is always with us and faithful to meet our every need. 

Anyway, thank you for reading this post and I hope you were encouraged, as I was, by the example Lillian Trasher was! 

P.S. Oh! And I do have one clarification to make...in my last post I said I would be posting every Saturday. Which is right, but not on my series every Saturday! I'll probably do a post in my series about once a month or once every other month. :) 


  1. Good post! And thanks for doing it since I suggested it-- but don't feel like you have to do everything I suggested! :)I can't wait to read more!

    1. Thank you, Emily! :) And I didn't feel like I had to do it at all! I just thought I would do her so that I didn't have to think of anybody else. (;

  2. I honestly think that I have never heard of Lillian Trasher, but her story is amazing! I love that she was willing to give her life for 300 dirty, Egyptian, street children! She loved God that much...to completely abandon all of her dreams of a perfect home with her fiancé. This is a great reminder to us! Thank you, Hannah!

    1. Thank you Hosanna for commenting! I was so encouraged by her life as well!

  3. And I know it's unrelated to the post, but I nominated you for the Liebster Award, if you'd like to do it. :)

  4. Great post Hannah. I have read Lillain Trasher by Janet and Geoff Benge a few times. I love reading missionary books. How many books do you have by Janet and Geoff Benge?

    In Christ,

    1. Thank you so much, Ashley! We have about 2-3 books by Janet and Geoff Benge. We get most of their books from the library though! ( :


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