Jill Dillard is back in the mission field. The former “19 Kids and Counting” star announced she and husband Derick Dillard would be returning to Central America Monday.
“We had a great visit recently to the States and as always it was a little hard to say goodbye!” the couple wrote in a statement on the Duggar family Facebook page. “We are headed back to Central America.” Their announcement included a shot of Jill, 24, and Derick Dillard, 26, and their 6-month-old son Israel David posing with Jill Dillard’s brother James Duggar, 14, at the airport.
While the couple said they were sad to be leaving their family behind in Arkansas, revealing they do not have plans to return until summer 2016, they’re excited about the journey ahead. “In the weeks ahead, language school will become much more intense as we work to become fluent in Spanish,” they wrote. “We are looking forward to seeing the faces of the sweet friends we’ve made in Central America who are helping us in our mission work.”
— Themsay Network (@themsaynetwork) October 19, 2015
The Dillards shared additional photos from their leave in a blog post titled “Ministry Departure October 2015.” The images show several members of the Duggar clan, including Jill’s parents, Jim Bob and Michelle Duggar. In a few shots her siblings -- including mom-to-be Jessa Seewald -- can be seen saying goodbye to Israel. While Jill Dillard's eldest brother Josh Duggar is not in the photos, his wife, Anna Duggar, makes a cameo in two shots.
Jill Dillard’s leave comes less than two months before the premiere of her TLC specials “Jill & Jessa: Counting On” in December. In the episodes the Duggars daughters will showcase their separate life journeys. The network previously announced Jill Dillard’s footage will focus on her missionary work. Jessa Seewald's, on the other hand, will feature her baby journey. She is due to give birth to her first child with husband Ben Seewald Nov. 1.
Jill and Derick Dillard first announced they were going on an extended mission trip in June. They left for Central America July 5. They have returned to the U.S. several times since they first left, filming a segment for TLC’s child abuse documentary “Breaking the Silence,” attending weddings, holding a fundraiser for Dillard Family Ministries and visiting with family and friends.