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González in Japan

January 2021 Update

As we entered the middle of January 2021, we were placed on a National State of Alert for all over Japan. That meant that we who live in Fukuoka needed to abide by the State of Emergency regarding the Corona Virus.

The National TV news and count of infections in Fukuoka on that day.

This meant that our Momochi Symphony Church went Online only, again until February 7th, but it could mean a little longer. For many days the Numbers of people infected in Fukuoka were higher than 200. As of yesterday (2/1/2021), Fukuoka city had numbers lower than 200. That’s part of the different levels of warnings that the Japanese system has in dealing with this pandemic. Please continue to pray with us for wisdom and how to better minister to people in this present situation.

Recording crew, computer presentation, video, sound, worship, translator, and all trusting in the Lord Jesus!

While online, we continue to minister to people in Japan and abroad, since our church service is recorded in Japanese and English.

Colette speaking for MSC

Continue to pray with us as the search for our church building moves forward. We pray for good location, a building that can house more than 100 people and in the right price. We pray for this daily.

Finally, pray for strength as we continue doing all ministry activities “online” or “in-person.” There are many activities and meetings plan at the local level, national level and international level, too. We have plenty of meetings on the Zoom application including the Church Planting Committee for Japan and our new Japanese Bible Study online. Please pray we can keep up with the schedule.

Juan Carlos and Colette

We truly thank you for your partnership with us, and for your prayers. どうもありがとうございます。

January 2021 cold but sunny days.
January 2021 snowy days.

October, November, December 2020 Update.

Happy New Year!

We take this opportunity to thank you for your faithful support to our ministry, your care and prayers for a successful partnership as we reach out to the “Never Reached” in Fukuoka and all Japan.

Christmas 2020 and New Year’s Highlights

We took a step of faith for our 2020 Christmas outreach. As you may know, the school rental space for our church plant is not available due to the pandemic, therefore Momochi Symphony Church (MSC) has been meeting in the tatami rooms of our missions house. From here, we also have been sending out the Sunday messages over Facebook Live. Needless to say, we have become rather proficient in doing “church” over the internet, as the early months of 2020 required us to have an alternative to not meeting at all. We have been online since early 2020, and the views have been more than we expected. We have had Bible studies online, led by our associates, and we have made children’s bible story videos, too. Who knew that was going to happen?

While coming back to in-person services, we knew that our limited space was not going to be enough for our Christmas outreach. We began to knock on doors of several places including some hotels where we have had evangelistic venues before. Two of these locations were willing to work with us but they were very expensive. As a church plant, we are always very careful with the funds we have.

One location was the Fukuoka SeaHawk Hilton Hotel. It is an icon in our city and a very professional place to deal with a crowd for our Outreach. There would be hand sanitizers, chairs would be set up following the country guidelines, and many other precautions. They showed us several rooms, some of them for large venues and very expensive. The other hotel seemed to be cheaper but still out of our reach.

But God… This is where we see your prayers, your partnership with us. We began to pray and asked some of you to intercede for this time. We met with the SeaHawk Hotel representative, telling her we are a local small Japanese church that every year celebrates Christmas with the community, but with a limited budget. After talking with the management, she came back and agreed on our price and placed us in the Olive Room, which sits 375 people! However, only 137 chairs could be set up. We advertised in the local magazine and passed out personal invitations. Colette put together an ensemble of church members, and volunteers came as never before. On Christmas Sunday, we went early to set up with the staff of the Hotel who were extremely helpful. We were ready by 10:15 to open the doors of the Olive Room which was transformed into a “church” setting for that morning. We were pleasantly surprised as 77 people showed up, some of them to celebrate Christmas for the first time, and all this in the middle of this corona virus pandemic!

Though this was an outreach, we emphasized how our church truly worships Jesus Christ. The Gospel message was presented, and at the end of the altar call 5 hands were raised. We have begun to learn more about those who made decisions, one a Chinese lady married to an international chef getting ready for baptism now.

One more lady, the wife of our real estate agent, loudly raised her hands! We have begun to follow up with her. As Japan is less than 1% Christian, when someone makes a decision in such an event, it may take years before they really come to the Lord. This is due to culture, religion, background, and family pressures. The relationship with our real estate agent’s wife has been key as she has been advocating for us to be able to find a place for MSC.

As some of you know, we were in negotiations for a three story building for MSC. However, last August 2020 we had to let it go for lack of funds. We can’t take a loan here in Japan and our goal is to be able to buy it with cash. Some of you have been waiting to help us as soon as we get an actual building. We have seen many buildings and houses, but the Lord keeps impressing on us and through our leaders not to settle for less, rather find a place where our church can grow, ministries can flow, and future outreach can happen.
We need to know how much we can count on, so we can make a bid on a location. A step of faith again, but it is God’s timing that we are trusting.

Would you please consider sending your best offering to our church plant account? Thank you.

Here is how you can send it online:
https://giving.ag.org/Give/Details/4ffeb04d-1842-4f79-8e20-ca3450dd60b7?CookieCheck=1
Mark it class 60, in the comments write:
Gonzalez Project 5563 Momochi Symphony Church Japan

Or send a check to AGWM:
Assemblies of God World Missions
1445 Boonville Ave.
Springfield, MO 65802

On the memo write: Juan Carlos & Colette Gonzalez Project #5563 Class 60

One more favor:
Please send us your church or personal email where we can send you our updates.

Contact Information:
Website: https://gonzalezinjapan.wordpress.com
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/juancarlos.gonzalez.140
email: juancarlos.gonzalez@agmd.org

Family News:
Our daughter Nicky and her husband Adam (teachers in San Antonio, TX) continue to raise our two beautiful grandkids. We are so proud of the way they are raising their own kids in addition to studying and teaching at Christian schools.
Our son Stephen married his wife Sabrina Serna on April 21, 2020, and have just been hired as Jr. High pastors for Orange County First Assembly. Pastor Drew and Lecia Smithson are taking a step of faith even during this pandemic. Please keep them in your prayers are they serve the Lord.

Prayer Requests:
Strength for this New Year while we search for a building for Momochi Symphony Church.
Pray for leaders to step into positions in our church, and for us to know how to delegate.

Lastly, thank you for your faithful support through the years, we need you more than ever before. You have given to missions, at times before your own needs, and continue reaching out with us. Thank you and please stay with us this new year. We love you.
Juan Carlos and Colette

Update July, August, September 2020

Building Project for Momochi Symphony Church.

Momochi Symphony Church Building update

While we could have never anticipated the impact of the Covid 19 in our lives, we never knew it would place a bump in our church building project. To make a long story short, the three story building which was put on hold for us to buy, we had to let it go as the owner could not wait for us any longer. We waited for more funding to come in but time was of the essence for the Real Estate agency. We are however looking for a new building and site. Why is this important now? The real estate market is good, the church needs a place to meet, for the future ministry to children, youth and families through art, music and ESL. This is all part of the vision. Following the Covid restrictions being lifted, the church was not able to go back to the rental premises due to the fact that it is a school. Right now the church meets at our house and “online.” Here is our request: would you consider helping us by sending an extra offering for Momochi Symphony Church? Would you pray for this effort to happen before the year is over? Let’s make 2020 the year to remember in Missions in Japan.

Here is a link for easy giving on line: https://giving.ag.org/Give/Details/4ffeb04d-1842-4f79-8e20-ca3450dd60b7?CookieCheck=1 Be sure to check Class 60 Comments Project #5563

Thank you so much for staying with us during this Pandemic, we love you and thank you for reaching Japan with us.

Juan Carlos and Colette González. AGWM Missionaries to Japan

May, June 2020 Update

Covid 19 has spread in Japan but not that fast, yet it managed to keep most citizens inside for a three month period already.

What have we been doing? The video update depicts our missionary work and highlights our prayer focus.

Update June 2020

Your prayers and support are so important, thank you so very much.

Juan Carlos and Colette González AGWM Japan

https://www.facebook.com/juancarlos.gonzalez.140

April 2020 Update

In the middle of the CoVid19 Pandemic, we continue presenting the message of Hope for anyone who needs it.

April video update

We’d love to hear back from you. Also follow us on Juan Carlos Gonzalez Facebook page where you’ll see more videos and pictures of our daily life. Here it is: https://www.facebook.com/juancarlos.gonzalez.140

We still walk to keep our minds and bodies healthy. God is in control

“God is on the move” is our saying all through these months. We are experiencing how God is reaching and saving in the middle of all uncertainties. God is providing and healing those that need a touch. We could write with amplitude of phrases but the theme is that God is healing and proving Himself real to many. May God also move in our hearts in this season of great wonder. God is on the move.

Video Update March 2020

Juan Carlos and Colette González
AGWM Missionaries to Japan

Our video update to encourage our Pastors, Churches, friends and family.

March 2020 Update

Dear Supporting Churches, Family, and Friends.

We have been under strict measures in order to avoid the Corona Virus infection in our city of Fukuoka (2.2 million people), Japan.

Schools, gatherings of 15 people, unnecessary events, etc. have been suspended for the last month already.

Colette leading MSC in worship

Though our church plant has gathered in our house for the time being, we are aware that our work must always be ever changing and adapting to the new reality, the law, being careful to care for one another

.

MSC church plant service

Our present situation here in Fukuoka, Japan is improving and we see the city coming back slowly. We are not minimizing the situation, but we have seen God’s hand working in our city, our neighborhood. There is a sense that God is doing a new thing. It is permeating all through our church people.

For that reason, we are sending you this message to say “Thank you” for your support, your prayers, and for continuously presenting to the church the cause of foreign missions.

We have seen some very trying days here in Fukuoka, Japan, but God has been faithful. Let me assure you that you will experience the same care from our God.

Please know that we are praying for you, your churches, your members, and your family wherever you are.

We are continuously doing the work you sent us to do, even in these difficult times.

We are resolute in presenting the Gospel of Jesus here in Fukuoka, Japan more than ever before.

Pray for us as we pray for you. Together let us continue doing the work of presenting Jesus to this generation.

May the Lord bless you and make you strong in this season of faith building.

Your Missionaries to Japan.

Juan Carlos and Colette González

Colette and Juan Carlos 2020

On another note. Our Stephen and Sabrina’s wedding is scheduled for May 30th, 2020 in Santa Ana, California.

Would you please pray for them? If you wish to send them a note, please email Stephen at:

automator0501@gmail.com

Their goal is to be in ministry (Youth, Church) as the Lord guides them.

Stephen and Sabrina 2020

December 2019 Update.

So much to say, so little time… little town of Bethlehem… I can hear the tune of this Christmas Carol in my web based application. It does not play in Japan very often, of course, perhaps in our churches.

Preparation by our volunteers, missionaries, and many friends…

Today, it is Christmas Day and I can recount the many hours of preparation and anticipation to celebrate the birth and coming of Jesus as a baby. The Gospel choir worked for months, the children’s choir sang, staff put hours, and volunteers, too.

Singing and worship was at the center of our service.

The results were 88 people attended and heard the message of Christmas in The Christmas Sunday service, culminating with 66 people gathering to celebrate with candles and carols the birth of Jesus.

Christmas service
Lightning of the Advent candles by our volunteers.

As I pondered this morning, I am engulfed with an incredible sense of love from our Lord Jesus. As a missionary in Japan, we have been here for over 25 years now, and we are finally seeing some results, not without being changed ourselves. The Lord Jesus who came more than 2,000 years ago is still transforming us according to his purpose and likeness.

May the Joy, Peace, Hope, and Love of this Christmas also transform you today.

Merry Christmas
Thank you for helping us in 2019, let’s do even more in 2020.

September, October, November 2019 Update

There are so many victories to share from these Fall months.

We are extremely overjoyed to share the water baptism service we had.

Two of our regular Japanese followers of Jesus decided to be baptized, choosing to make a Statement of Faith in front of many. The waters of the Sea of Japan overlooking the Hakata Bay were just right for the double baptism by submersion.

Yoshiki, a young boy, and Hiromi took the step of faith and were baptized on Sunday afternoon after the regular Sunday service in September 2019. We could not be happier, as we reflect that it takes an average of three years for a person to receive Christ in Japan. The changes that we have seen especially in Hiromi are more than spectacular. God has been transforming her life as she has been getting into what it means to be a Christian.

Hiromi expressed; “ I wished I would have known about Christ and followed Him years ago…” She posted her testimony on Facebook so that every one of her friends could see that she really has had an encounter with Jesus Christ!

We are so thankful for your prayers and partnership as you have all had a part in the Christian baby steps that our friends have taken to become true followers of Jesus.

Friends and family gathered around to be part of what God is doing here in Momochi.

Momochi Symphony Church continues to grow, but more importantly, it is maturing in many areas.

We traveled to Karuizawa for our yearly missionary renewal/business meeting. Colette and I led worship. We were elected for one more year as Church Planting Committee Chair. This committee works strategizing on the church planting business of our fellowship in Japan.

Following the meetings, we have been helping a church in Iwakuni, mentoring and coaching the new pastors of this growing church. From this leadership position, we hope to bring to reality the church planting effort for Momochi Symphony Church where we continue to pastor.

Shortly after our meetings in Karuizawa, our leaders, Jeff Hartensveld, Ty Silva, and Nathan Williams came down to Fukuoka to see future property for Momochi Symphony Church. Most of you know that we have been able to raise funds for a downpayment for this church building. However, speaking with our Field Director, we were challenged to believe for something larger than previously planned. The word that came from our leaders was: “Believe for something that can house 100-150 people.” Whereas we also have faith, we were floored to think we could afford such a building here.

We were challenged by our leader to trust the Lord for a larger vision for this church, and for this building that could house various ministries and efforts in the Southern area of Kyushu. We began to dream in terms of having a coffee house ministry that could also share the message of Jesus, ESL classes to reach out in the most accepted way in Japan; also Music and the arts. God has brought us a group of professional musicians who could definitely add to the vision of this new building.

We have located a building that could work for this vision. Though we are still in negotiation, we wanted to share this major project with all of you. We have also procured and secured a new project number with AGWM. This will help us gather the funds for this new project. While we are raising more funds and appealing for one time offerings for this project, our Asia Pacific Field Director is also raising funds so that we can bring this project to completion. Our local church people are also giving sacrificially for this project.

Would your church, your missions committee, your children’s group, your youth, or perhaps your women’s group take the challenge to place our Momochi Symphony Church Building as part of your missions project this year 2019 or 2020?

If you like to contribute a one-time offering to this project, please use this project number.

Momochi Symphony Church Building Project Number: #5878

You can send a check to AGWM and write the project number on the memo.

You can also go online and give to this project.

https://giving.ag.org/Give/Details/4ffeb04d-1842-4f79-8e20-ca3450dd60b7?CookieCheck=1

1- Select the amount.

2- Select Class 60

3- In Comments write #5878:

4- You may select the “share your email address” with us.

5- Select One time gift or Set Up New Recurring Schedule.

This will be the fastest way.

In November, there were so many great things happening. We thanked all of our volunteers at our church plant and we had a great potluck. The church people also thanked the Pastoral team that works as volunteers in this church plant.

The Gospel choir also had a part in our city festival, it was wonderful to see the choir lifting up the name of Jesus. Something great that happened as the announcer was filling time while the choir was getting ready. She told the story how she went to New York City to see a real gospel choir in church, and how wonderful it is to hear this music, and for Christians to represent the worship and praise to Jesus Christ. I did not have to say a thing, the announcer took care of the message that afternoon! The choir sang its best with a Latin rhythm song and a Southern Gospel song.

Music and the Arts can have a way to reach the heart of the people who need hope, the Hope of Jesus.

We traveled to be with all of our churches in Kyushu for the 60th year of the Aso Seikai.

This is a Holy Convocation, a time to pray for the fullness of the Holy Spirit, and fellowship. We took 13 people all together. After the long trip, we finished by eating sushi in a local restaurant that we have frequented for the last 20 years.

God has been good, please keep us in your prayers. Colette and I, Juan Carlos, wish you the greatest Thanksgiving Day Celebration and Merry Christmas and a Happy 2020.

We could not do what we do without YOU and your financial contributions and prayers . Thank you for helping us do our work here in Japan.

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