“Never Left or Forsaken” (Watchman Née)
Lillian Trasher (1887-1961) was a formidable lady. In 1910, she arrived in Egypt and began to care for orphans in the following year. She often saw God in action when the need was great.
During the Second World War, the Italians (partners with Germany) invaded Egypt. The War caused great hardship. The orphanage now cared for some 900 children, and often required food and clothing.
By September 1941, many of the children’s clothes were worn and they had little food.
One evening at supper, Lillian announced that all school and work would be suspended for twenty-four hours so that everyone could seriously pray about the situation. Lillian heard some earnest praying that evening in the girls’ dormitory.
A little girl named Figa, whose head had been shaved because of a skin disease, prayed beautifully: “Lord, You have said that when our mothers and fathers forsake us, You will take us up [Psalm 27:10]. We need you to provide for us right now because Mama [Lillian] says there is no one else who can help us.”
Tears came to Lillian’s eyes; how right Figa was. A miracle alone could assist them.
The children and staff continued to pray. In the morning, a telegram arrived from the American Ambassador to Egypt: “Miss Trasher, please visit me tomorrow for lunch.” Lillian hoped this had something to do with all their prayers. She took the midnight train to Cairo and arrived at his place just before midday.
The Ambassador had important news to share with Lillian. Greece had just fallen to the Germans. A Red Cross ship near Greece got word of this, and was ordered back to Alexandria, Egypt.
Then a fear arose that the ships in Alexandria’s harbor would be attacked, and the ship was ordered to dump its cargo and head out to sea while it was still dark. A young Scottish sailor on the ship begged the captain to unload the cargo, rather than dump it.
He knew about the orphanage, and had a mother praying for it daily. At first, the captain did not want to do so, but the sailor insisted. He assured the captain that they could unload the ship and make it out of port before sunrise. The ship was quickly unloaded and the supplies placed in a warehouse.
“Tell me, Miss Trasher,” the Ambassador queried, “do you have a need for food and clothing at this time?”
What a marvelous provision—so many supplies for the orphanage!
A little while later, Lillian, the Ambassador, and a Red Cross representative were standing together, looking at crates of supplies. There were thousands of items of clothing and blankets, and masses of powdered milk and rice. Lillian burst into tears.
The Ambassador kindly declared that he would pay the delivery costs.
When the children heard the good news, the children cheered! Then as they waited to open the containers after delivery, Lillian said a prayer of thanks. How thankful she was to God for His supply.