The Duggar family said goodbye to Derick and Jill Dillard on Sunday, as the couple--along with their baby boy Israel--departed, heading overseas to do missions work for an undisclosed amount of time.
It wasn't that long ago that Derick Dillard wrote on his and Jill Duggar Dillard's blog about an opportunity for overseas missions that arose for the family.
“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.
This opportunity comes at a time when leaving Arkansas is likely a good thing for Jill Duggar. She was admittedly one of brother Josh Duggar's sexual molestation victims, and while the entire Duggar family went through a lot when the events were rehashed in the media, Jill seemed to take it even harder than the rest of the victims.
On the 4th of July, the Duggar family enjoyed some time together, knowing that the very next day they'd be saying goodbye to Derick and Jill.
Jill Dillard captioned this Instagram post, "Happy Independence Day! We are celebrating with family today. #4thofJuly #fireworks."
Sister Jessa Duggar Seewald shared a bittersweet shot that no doubt makes all members of the Duggar family wonder when they'll see the Dillard family again.
The photo shows Derick and Jill Dillard, along with baby Israel, as they are about to board the first leg of their flight overseas.
"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 Duggar captioned the post.
Who knows how long it might be before the Duggar family is reunited once again? It is likely that Derick and Jill Dillard will spend at least a year overseas. While no one has said where they are headed, many speculate they may be serving as missionaries in Nepal.
Will 19 Kids and Counting be the same without Jill and Derick--if in fact TLC puts the show back on the air? This has likely put a hold on any plans the network may have had to create a spinoff starring Jill Duggar Dillard, Jessa Duggar Seewald, and their husbands.