Naomi’s Journey to Japan

Jan 23, 2023 | Our Family


Dear friends:

Since I last wrote, I have spent the past three years at Columbia International University in Columbia, SC studying psychology and missions and I would like to tell you about a mission’s trip I am praying to make to Japan.

This missions trip is part of a missions class I am taking this year, but more than a class it is an opportunity for me to get out of my cultural comfort zone, experience living in a new country, get to meet new people, and grow in my relationship with God and what He may have for my life. I am starting a monthly newsletter to update you about how things progress in the preparations for the trip I believe God wants me to make this summer. I will also share with you about different aspects of my student life here at CIU and how God leads me in my studies and aspirations.

Since I was a young girl, the Asian cultures have fascinated me in their vast distinctness from the western culture. I was fascinated by hearing about Japan’s different customs, advanced technology, complex language, and unique cultural arts and longed to go there someday to experience it all. Being in this class has given me the opportunity to pursue a trip I have always dreamed of come true.

In my intercultural studies classes I have been able to learn about the Japanese culture, history, and religion more in depth. Something that stuck out to me when learning about Japan is that it has one of the lowest percentages of Christian population, being at 2.2%. There are very few missionaries in Japan and very few evangelical churches. Knowing all this, my heart has been filled with compassion and a desire to learn more about Japan to see if God would want me to help them in any way in bringing to them His life and joy.

While I am there I will be hosted by a missionary family who will be my guide the whole time I am in Japan. The cost of the trip will be around $5,000 total, and I am trusting that if God wants me there this summer, He will provide the finances needed. If you are interested in my pursuits to Japan, I invite you to pray with me for Japan, that God would send His people to the lost there and bring them to His life.

In preparation for this trip to Japan, I have been learning Japanese for a few months and am researching and learning more about the country’s history and culture. I have also started listening to Japanese music to further familiarize myself with its language and culture. Something my intercultural studies teachers have taught me is that learning a people’s language is one of if not the most effective way to show your desire to connect with and get to know them and their culture. Although it is a difficult language, I hope to learn as much Japanese as I can in the little time I have before the summer.

If you would like to know how to pray more specifically for me as I trust, pray, plan, and look forward to this mission trip, I have put a list of prayer requests at the end of this letter. If you are interested in receiving my monthly prayer letters, or if you would like to sponsor me by making a donation, please send an email to or

May you grow in relationship with God this year and see how He keeps you faithfully in His hand.


Naomi Portugal



  • Physical, mental, and spiritual health for the semester
  • Mental energy for class projects
  • Wisdom and patience in planning out trip
  • Growth in my relationship with God
  • Relationships with possible host family and sending organization


  • That God would reveal Himself to the people of Japan
  • That God would encourage, strengthen, and continue to reveal Himself to Japanese believers
  • That God would send missionaries to Japan
  • That God would encourage the foreign missionaries already in Japan