In September of 1941, while World War 2 was laying waste to large tracts of Europe and pushing across North Africa, Lillian Trasher was living on faith. Her orphanage in Assiout, Egypt, was caring for 900 orphans, 80 widows, plus her staff members and a handful of refugees.
Lillian knew the power of God’s protection. Egypt was in chaos. Rommel was laying siege to Cairo while bandits were terrorizing cities to the south. While Assiout was being pillaged, the leader of the bandits climbed the walls of the orphanage with his men ready to follow behind. Suddenly he was cut down by a single stray bullet. Deprived of their leader, the rest of the bandits fled, leaving the women and children unharmed.
Lillian knew the power of God’s faithfulness. War shortages meant that clothing and food were in short supply. The children’s clothes were worn beyond repair.Bed sheets and towels were full of holes. International mail delivery had been suspended due to the war and she was cut off from the bulk of her funding; donations that arrived by mail from all over the world suddenly ceased. The situation became desperate.
Lillian knew the power of prayer. After rationing food for days trying to make it last, one Monday morning she passed around a note calling the children and women to pray. The note read, “We have nothing. The need is very great indeed, but our God is greater. ‘Ask and it shall be given.’ Lillian.”
They continued to pray through Monday and Tuesday. On Wednesday morning, Lillian received a summons from the American Ambassador, Alexander Kirk, to come to Cairo. Upon her arrival, he greeted her with news. A Red-Cross ship full of relief supplies bound for German-controlled Greece had been captured by the British.
The ship had been ordered to dump all her cargo and return home. A Scottish soldier on board knew of the Lilian Trasher orphanage and convinced the British captain to unload the supplies in Alexandria. Ambassador Kirk asked Lillian if she could use the contents, which included, “2,600 dresses, 1,900 handmade sweaters, 1,009 pairs of boys pants, 3,800 blankets, 1,100 towels, 700 kegs of powdered milk and 1,200 sacks of rice.”
Two days later, a convoy delivered the entire cargo down the Nile with enough supplies to last for the rest of the war. God had answered the prayers of Lillian and the children beyond anything they could have ever asked or imagined.
My tag “Stories from the Field” is intended to share missions stories with you that you may otherwise never hear. The life and legacy of Lillian Trasher has been well-documented. In fact, I got the information for this story here, here and here. And these are just the tip of the iceberg. So why did I choose to tell this story today?
I came across it while researching some other details about Lillian’s life for a curriculum I’m working on. As it happened, this story was not usable in the materials I’m writing, but it was just what I needed personally. I needed to be reminded of the power of the God I serve. I needed to be reminded that Lillian’s miracle arrived just in time, and that God is never late. I needed to be reminded that his arm is not too short. Or that he’s answered my prayers with a big miracle before. Maybe you did too?
The only thing He may be waiting on is for you to ask.
*Photo credits, with thanks, to the Flower Pentecostal Heritage Center of the Assemblies of God