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Darren and Dana Portell

United States

Meet Darren and Dana Portell, IM Missionaries to International Students in Illinois

We are Darren, Dana, McCayde, and McLayne Portell. We will be serving international students at the University of Illinois in Champaign-Urbana alongside the Penn family. Our family has previously served in student ministry roles in Taiwan and North Africa as well as in sports outreach in southern France. Our two older children, McKenna and McGwire, reside in the U.S. with their families. Darren and Dana were both born in Illinois and grew up in Illinois FWB churches.

Why the University of Illinois?

Having lived cross-culturally for many years, we have experienced firsthand the joy of belonging to a community and plan to create a community for our students. We are excited to see how God will use our cultural understanding from having lived in various countries and cultures to draw students into a relationship with Him.

Another statistic about international statistics is also somewhat shocking and disappointing. 85% of international students will never step foot inside an American home. What this means is that all these people who have no knowledge of Jesus are often surrounded by people who do have this knowledge and yet the two groups seldom get together.

How they are ministering to international students

How you can pray for the Portells

  • Pray that the students connected with the Penn and Portell families will develop deep relationships with God.
  • Pray for the Portell family as they seek to raise funds to join the Penn family at the University of Illinois.
  • Pray for the Portells as they transition from a decade in Taiwan to life in the United States.

You can partner with the Portells to reach the international students in Illinois with the Gospel.

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