On this day in 1917,  John Schlosser was born in China, the son of missionaries George and Mary Schlosser.

As John grew, he helped his parents in the ministry and developed a strong love for the Chinese culture.  He also became very fluent in the local dialect.  After finishing high school, he returned to the states to attend Greenville College in Illinois.  After finishing his studies, John found himself faced with a hard choice.  Should he return to China, the land he had grown to love so much?  Or go somewhere else to serve as a missionary?  Or maybe find another path for his life?  His senior year, the question of his future plagued him.  He prayed and sought council and finally, he could say: “Further hesitation would seem selfish. If I go out, I go with my eyes open. I know what is ahead. I have seen it and lived with it. But I would rather live and work there (in China) with God’s approval and blessing than anywhere else in the world.”

In 1946, John returned to work in central China as a missionary.  His wife and young son went with him.  Their time in China as church planters, however, was short lived.  In 1949, they, along with 10,000 other Christian missionaries, were forced to leave China.  So the Schlossers transferred to the Philippines, where they would spend the  next 20 years starting churches in rural villages and large city centers.  John started a small Bible college to train Filipino pastors, called the “Light and Life Bible College.”  The school started in a small jungle town, with the intent of training village pastors to go to new villages to start churches.  But the work grew rapidly and soon the school was moved to Butuan City.

The work of the Schlossers took them from the Philippines to the Hong Kong, back briefly into China, and then back to the Philippines.  His work required him to learn four different Asian languages.  The director of his mission board summed up John’s life well:

 John Schlosser’s whole life was passionately devoted to reaching Asia for Christ, first in China and then launching the Free Methodist Church in the Philippines in 1949. From remote locations in the frontiers of Mindanao, Philippines, the Filipino church now has nearly 25,000 members across the islands and is sending out missionaries to Pakistan, Cambodia and Hong Kong.  During our 20 years in the Philippines and then while I have served as Asia Area Director, John and Ruby have continued to be spiritual advisors and prayerful supporters. John never retired from ministry to the Philippine church. He just did it more remotely. And now, as John Schlosser is with the Lord, nothing is remote.

John’s own view of his life reflects a realization on his absolute dependency on Christ:

… it pays to serve Jesus. Yes, it pays in the deep satisfaction of sharing the light of the Gospel with persons in the dark. … It pays in the wealth of friendships with persons all over the world who are my brothers and sisters in the faith. The support of their prayers was crucial to whatever degree of success was realized in my missionary service. … It pays also in the inward assurance that God, who sent His Son to be my savior, will welcome me into eternity when my days on this earth are over. That welcome will not be because of any accomplishment of mine but solely on the basis of his love for the unworthy.


Free Methodist World Missions

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