HOLLYWOOD—Television personality Jill Duggar, 24, and her husband, accountant Derick Dillard, 26, are moving overseas for missionary work and they are taking their infant son Israel David Dillard with them. The “19 Kids and Counting” stars publicly announced the news via their personal blog on June 26.
The couple plan to leave their Arkansas home for an unknown amount of time and relocate to an undisclosed location. They released the following information on their blog:
“Since we first began our relationship, it has always been our goal that Jesus Christ might be glorified as we serve others through family ministry, by whatever means that might be. We have a deep love and care for all of the world and a real passion for those in the nations, as many have even seen in the early stages of our relationship, and our hope is that all peoples of the world would come to repentance and put their hope in the Lord, Jesus Christ.”
The statement continued, “God has put a desire in our hearts to serve Him internationally for longer than the typical short-term mission trip, but we didn’t know yet how God would fulfill that desire in us. We were prepared for the possibility of it being years before our family would be able to make a move of that magnitude. It’s something we’ve prayed about together in an effort to seek God’s plan for our lives in His service. Earlier this year God brought about an opportunity much earlier than either of us was expecting. Several months ago a new opportunity arose for us to serve God on the mission field. Before us we had a choice to make that would undoubtedly change the trajectory of our lives forever.
As I’m sure many of you fathers can understand, I (Derick) had a huge dilemma as the provider and protector of my little family. There were definitely more “unknowns” with the international option. God was definitely testing my faith in Him by bringing about this choice in our lives. A friend of ours wisely shared that if God was leading us to serve Him abroad, we should pursue it as early as possible, to avoid a more difficult move later, when our roots are deep and we’re more comfortable in life. Ultimately, in life there is nothing more important than simply loving, following and obeying our Creator.
After much prayer and seeking Godly counsel, we realized that taking this opportunity and moving overseas in order to serve is the best option for our family. Earlier this year we shared our plans with our families and in May, I shared this decision with my manager at Wal-Mart, where I was working in the Tax department. I recently left the company and we are currently preparing to leave the US and begin our new endeavor in July. We don’t expect this new adventure to always be easy, but God never promised that following Him wouldn’t have its challenges. We are confident in knowing that there is no better place to be than in the center of God’s will for our lives. We look forward to this adventure and the joy of serving Him in this new way. We wanted to share this with you and ask for your prayers as our family makes this transition.
If you feel led to support our mission effort we would be so thankful to have you as a partner. You can give here on our website. Your prayers and your support mean so much to both of us as we begin this great new chapter in life! To keep up with our ministry and learn how you can help check back regularly here on our website www.dillardfamily.com and sign up for the family newsletter.”
Those interested in financially supporting the couple’s ministry can make donations at www.dillardfamily.com.
Duggar and Dillard have been married since 2014. They welcomed their son Israel last April.