“In all the dreams that God turns to fact there is, I think in a lesser degree than that of our final vocation, a fulfilling of St. Paul’s words about apprehending that for which we are apprehended.”  ~ Lilias Trotter


A recent visit to the Pioneer Headquarters in Orlando, Florida, unearthed a fascinating manuscript:  “An Evangelistic Mission at Work.”  While the author was not named, the text quickly revealed the writer to be Constance Padwick, a personal friend of Lilias Trotter and a great supporter of her work in Algeria. Padwick’s initial purpose for writing was to glean quotes from Lilias’ diaries to be published in book form, The Master of the Impossible, for the occasion of the Algiers Mission Band’s Jubilee Anniversary (50 years),1938.  
Miss Padwick writes of the privilege of returning to El-Biar, the “mother house” of the Algiers Mission Band, sitting in the long Arab room at a table frequently used by Lilias Trotter, surrounded by thirty “little squat diary volumes.” The inspiration for this paper is best related in her own words:  
“The daily handling of those diaries brought before me not only the spiritual life of a saint but also a vivid picture of the development of a small evangelistic mission with a marked individuality.  As from day to day I noted some little touch of the resourcefulness or the wisdom of love I copied a sentence here and there with the sense that these ought to be put at the disposal of fellow evangelists in Muslim lands.  This paper is the little sheaf of those gleanings.” 
Some have lamented that we have not offered more about the missional philosophy of Lilias Trotter.  Fact is, she never wrote a comprehensive treatise on her “missiology.”  Yet throughout her diaries she worked out, in the moment – in the very arena of service – approaches to better reach the people she and her fellow-workers had come to serve. Some of her ideas are developed in leaflets specific to a given task or approach or vision.  Many were considered to be one hundred years ahead of the times in method and materials. 

Now we present, in full, a comprehensive view of Lilias’ evangelistic work, from the perspective of a person who knew Lilias personally and who had viewed the ministry first hand.  We have preserved the form and spellings of Miss Padwick’s paper veering from the original only to highlight, in italics, the direct quotes of Lilias Trotter. 

Link below for this unique perspective of ministry, visionary in her day; relevant in our day – whether at home or beyond.    


An Evangelistic Mission at Work

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