Heroes of the Faith: Lillian Thrasher

Lillian Trasher founded the first Orphanage in Egypt and known as the Nile Mother of

Lillian Thrasher


Lillian Hunt Trasher was born on September 27, 1887 in Jacksonville, Florida. She was raised as a Roman Catholic in Brunswick, Georgia.

After a term of Bible college, she worked for two years at Faith Orphanage in North Carolina.

After hearing a missionary from India speak, she broke her engagement ten days before the wedding. Although her husband was a minister, she felt he did not share her call.

Lillian Thrasher with some of her children

She taught at a Bible school in South Carolina, traveled briefly with an evangelist and served a church before returning to work at the orphanage.

In 1910, she met Pastor Brelsford of Assiout, Egypt at a missionary conference. Defying her family’s wishes, she left for Egypt with her sister, Jennie and less than $100.

Lillian Thrasher with some of her children

Before she left, people suggested that she randomly

open her Bible to see which page she chose. It was Acts 7:34, where it read that, “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.”

Shortly after arriving, she was called to the home of a dying woman. The woman died shortly after they arrived, but was holding a baby girl, severely malnourished and clinging to life. The translator informed her that the woman, who was the child’s grandmother, planned to throw the child in the Nile River. Lillian took the child and named

Lillian Thrasher

her Fareida. She then defied her mission organization and began an orphanage.

By 1918, the orphanage had fifty children and eight widows. She briefly returned to the U.S. where she sought financial and prayer support. Upon returning to Egypt, her mission expanded and eventually included orphans, widows and the blind.

She worked in Egypt among the orphans and forgotten people until 1961 without a furlough. She became known as Mama Lillian.

By the time of her death on December 17, 1961, the Lillian Trasher Orphanage had grown to 1200 children. She was buried in the orphanage’s cemetery.

Her orphanage continues to operate and help people today.


Lillian Trasher opened the first orphanage in Egypt and helped many widows and orphans #faithfulheroes #heroesofthefaith Share on X


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