Posted by: calloftheandes | January 17, 2013

Compassion and Brush Strokes of Artist Brightened Lives of Others

John Mosiman at HCJB-TV La Ventana de los Andes (The Window of the Andes)

John Mosiman at HCJB-TV La Ventana de los Andes (The Window of the Andes)

Almost as if by magic, the colors appeared on the easel at the front of the darkened church. But no, Lenin De Janón could see that the hands manning the brush and palette belonged to a man—a man he needed to meet.

De Janón had been wandering the streets of Quito for hours, mutilating his own arm with a knife. A young communist, he saw no reason to continue life after his girlfriend broke off her relationship with him. Depressed, the young Ecuadorian’s fascination with the picture grew as he watched the artist and felt his spirits lift a bit.

Approaching the man afterward, he learned the artist’s name was John Mosiman, a missionary at Radio Station HCJB who invited him to stop by the station to learn how the chalk talking and ultraviolet light worked.

“Me, a communist, go to a Christian radio station?” wrote De Janón decades afterwards. He nonetheless visited and watched Mosiman, engaging in a conversation that ignited De Janón’s thirst to learn what the Bible offered. A year later he received Christ as Savior at the same church where he’d seen Mosiman’s blacklight chalk talk. De Janón followed in the American man’s tracks, devoting his artistic abilities to God by serving as a missionary with HCJB Global.

“John created an art form he called ‘musical paintings,’ wrote Mosiman’s wife of 57 years, Gloria. “It was a blend of chalk paintings with theatrical lighting and choreographed to music, captivating audiences at clubs, conventions, churches and schools. He performed from New York to Dallas, Miami to San Francisco and also in Canada and in seven Latin American countries, spanning 41 years.”

He also created pencil drawings and acrylic paintings. Spare time saw John hiking and camping in the wilderness, including the Rocky Mountains where he climbed 47 peaks in his lifetime. “He was well known for sleeping under the stars in his hammock instead of a tent,” Gloria continued, “He greatly enjoyed carving intricate designs and Bible verses on walking sticks.”

Mosiman as a high school graduate in 1949

Mosiman graduated from high school in 1949 at Boulder, Colo.

Born on Sept. 12, 1931, he was an adopted son of Fred and Lucille Mosiman of Elgin, Ill. In the early 1950s he served on the staff of the Maranatha Bible and Missionary Conference in Muskegon, Mich. In 1953 he graduated from Wheaton College where he learned chalk drawing from Dr. W. Karl Steele. He later attained a Master of Arts from Northern Illinois University in DeKalb.

While learning the Spanish language in San José, Costa Rica, he met Gloria Geiszler, a nurse on her way to Ecuador to serve as a medical missionary. John’s artistic talents were to be used in the same South American country. Having arrived separately at language school, they later married in Quito where they served as HCJB Global missionaries for 12 years during the 1950s and 1960s.

“There is nothing in us to claim that we are capable of doing this work,” was a New Testament reference that John often cited. The verse continues that “the capacity we have comes from God. It is He who made us capable of serving…” (2 Corinthians 3:5-6, Good News Translation).

Upon retirement, the Mosimans moved to Austin, Texas. During disastrous flooding in Del Rio, TX, they assisted the affected families, also visiting people across the river at Ciudad Acuña, Mexico.

John spent his retirement years building homes for destitute families in Acuña, enabling them to move out of their cardboard shacks into frame houses. He recruited and spearheaded volunteer construction teams, supervising them and working with his own hands as well. They constructed more than 150 houses.

John Mosiman 1931-2012

John Mosiman 1931-2012

He sponsored hundreds of Mexican youths for university and high school education. Through his life, God radically changed the life of many people; both those in need and those who came to help build.

Completing his work in Mexico in 2010, he continued to minister from his home in Austin despite his advancing illness. He taught the Bible to small groups and mentored several people before his death on Wednesday, Dec. 26, at the age of 81.

In addition to his wife, Gloria, John is survived by two daughters, Elizabeth of Summerville, S.C., and Marianne of Austin; a son, John, of Fort Mill, S.C.; and five grandchildren. He is also survived by a sister, Sue Wyld, Wheaton, Ill.

A memorial service was held at Hillcrest Baptist Church in Austin on Saturday, Jan. 5. To post or view condolences, visit http://www.cookwaldenchapelofthehills.com. The family has asked that memorial donations be made to the following ministries: His Work, Inc. (13217 Dime Box Trail, Austin, TX 78729), indicating that the donation is for the Acuña Mexico Ministry (http://hisworkinc.org), or Voice of the Martyrs (P.O. Box 443, Bartlesville, OK, 74005).431229_10151387398913489_1340416057_n

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