Death, Where is Your Victory?

On February 9th I wrote a tribute to Lillian Trasher Orphanage, an orphanage in Assiut, Upper Egypt. An orphanage established in 1911 providing food, shelter, and hope for hundreds of children through the years. At the time I wrote the post, the orphanage had to cancel their centennial celebration because of unrest in Egypt and the subsequent ousting of Hosni Mubarak.

On Wednesday, May 11th, George Assad who has worked as the director of the orphanage for Lillian Trasher for many years died unexpectedly. His family is deeply grieving as they make their way from various parts of the world to Assiut to pay tribute to their father as well as the mentor to thousands through his legacy as director of the orphanage.

George, an orphan himself, was raised in Lillian Trasher Orphanage, so his work was more than a job but a true vocation. He knew personally the impact that the orphanage had in providing “Hope and a Future” for children in Egypt. The influence of his life of obedience to God is felt world wide and he will be deeply missed.  I will add more on his life in a future post but end with a paragraph from my earlier post:

With a shoe-string budget and against all odds, the orphanage has survived and thrived.  It prides itself on operating as a large family, not as an institution. The current director and his wife, George and Fathiya, open their hearts to orphans on a daily basis, and their home to visitors when they come.  They raised a family of five, four girls and one boy, who are now adults living in Egypt, the United States and New Zealand.  The family is beautiful both inside and out.  I’ve rarely seen so many good-looking people in one family!

Our family has the privilege of knowing the Assad family and call them our friends.  We have been treated to the hospitality of the orphanage several different times and their son, Joseph, was a lifesaver to us as my husband’s assistant in the Middle East Studies Program that he began many years ago.  My children (now adults) have great memories of weekends away from the crowds of Cairo, participating in a field day and enjoying great food cooked especially for us by Fathiya.

The Assads and others at the orphanage continue to live out a love for God and care for widows and orphans. It will continue having an eternal impact throughout Egypt and the world.” From Lillian’s Legacy

Thank you George Assad, for your impact on earth and your life of faithful service. Just as Mama Lillian left a legacy, so do you – a legacy of faithfulness, love of God, and love for “the least of these”. Death has no victory in your life, no lasting power for you are present with the God you love and the God you served.

8 thoughts on “Death, Where is Your Victory?

  1. My name is Curtiss Hunt. I have been searching the internet for information on Lillian Trasher and came upon George Assad. I am sorry to learn of his passing in 1911.

    Lillian was my cousin though I never got to meet her as most of her life was spent in Egypt. I believe that I am her oldest living relative.

    I think it is wonderful that Rev. Assad, a former child of Lillian, was able to carry on as director of LTO. I am sure he is missed.


    1. Mr Hunt – I’m so glad you found this post. Your cousin was an amazing lady! I would love to hear more from you on what the extended family thought about her moving to Egypt. Her work has been carried on in an amazing way. I don’t right now know who is the director — I am still in touch with Joseph Assad occasionally. It is too bad you were never able to visit the orphanage. It’s a remarkable place. Thanks again for coming by — Marilyn Gardner


    2. Marilyn – Thank you for replying to my posting. From the reading I have done, Lillian’s immediate family was not in
      favor of her calling. However, her grandmother, my great-great
      grandmother, was Jane Hunt, a Quaker abolitionist and reformer,
      who was one of the founders of the Women’s Rights movement
      in the U.S. She died in 1889 when Lillian was only two but set
      a tone for helping others. Also her older sister, Jennie, spent
      much time with her at the orphanage.
      As for her extended family, we have just recently discovered
      Lillian. There just wasn’t much in our genealogy about her.
      Two of my sisters have been researching her as I have recently
      begun to do.
      An irony in this is that my first granddaughter is almost two.
      Her mother, unknowingly, named her Lillian. She will have a
      guardian angel.

      Curtiss Hunt


  2. I am privileged and blessed to be the mother-in-law of one of George Assad’s children, Lilian. The whole Assad family is quite remarkable and they are very fine examples of God’s ambassadors here on earth. They have been an inspiration to us, particularly George and his wife. We are deeply saddened and grieve his passing but also know that he will be rejoicing at this final appointment with God. He leaves an amazing legacy, having built upon Lillian Trasher’s own ministry, expanding it to a point where it is recognised throughout the world as a place of joyful Christian nurture, teaching and discipleship. Lives are changed when they visit the Lillian Trasher Orphanage. We salute George as a man of honour and integrity.


  3. I read that book! Letters from Egypt. Oh it was fabulous. I know a young man who wants to do the very same thing with his life. I hope I will be able to give him a copy of that book. Sorry for the loss of your friend. He obviously meant a great deal to a lot of people.


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