Jill Duggar Dillard, her husband Derick Dillard, and their baby boy Israel left their 19 Kids and Counting family members behind on Sunday, and headed overseas to do work as missionaries.
It's been a rough couple of months for Jill Duggar and her husband. Jill was one of brother Josh Duggar's sexual molestation victims. Reliving the past in the media spotlight was very difficult for the young wife and mother. It's uncertain if the family worked to speed up their missions trip, or if divine intervention sent them packing when Jill Duggar Dillard needed it most.
No one has yet announced where the Dillard family is going, but many suspect it may be Nepal.
Before leaving, Jill Duggar Dillard and her family spent the 4th of July with members of the 19 Kids and Counting gang.
Sister Jessa Duggar Seewald, who was also one of Josh Duggar's victims, and is expecting her first baby with husband Ben Seewald, shared an Instagram photo of Derick, Jill, and Israel as they prepared to board the first leg of their flight to parts unknown.
"So excited for @jillmdillard & @derickdillard! They've been praying about and working towards this transition since late last year, and are so excited to finally be heading to the mission field! Please continue to pray for them! And be sure to check out their blog at www.dillardfamily.com "Go into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature." Mark 16:15," Jessa captioned the photo.
Jill Duggar Dillard shared a photo of her and Derick's 4th of July fun the day before they left the U.S.
"Happy Independence Day! We are celebrating with family today. #4thofJuly #fireworks," she captioned her post.'
Derick Dillard shared in a recent blog post the reasons behind the family heading overseas to do missionary work.
"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," he wrote.
Derick and Jill even included a link on their blog for those who wish to help fund their trip. Missionaries typically must provide transportation to the place they'll serve, and often must chip in for their own living expenses once they get there.
Neither Jim Bob nor Michelle Duggar has commented publicly yet about Jill Duggar Dillard and her family heading overseas to serve, and leaving the 19 Kids and Counting family behind. While they are surely very proud of their daughter and son-in-law, it must have been a bittersweet departure on Sunday.
It's uncertain what the fate of 19 Kids and Counting will be. If TLC decides to go ahead and put the show back on the air, might a camera crew travel to Jill Duggar and Derick Dillard's destination and share what they're doing with their fans?