Jill Duggar Dillard and Derick Dillard recently reassured concerned fans that they aren’t trying to convert Catholics to their preferred brand of Christianity (they’re Independent Baptists) during their long-term mission trip in Central America. However, while trying to allay fans’ fears that they aren’t wasting their donors’ money on converting people who are already Christians, they basically admitted that they’re spending most of their time in Central America simply preaching to the poor and doing very little to help pull them out of poverty.
In their most recent mission trip update, Jill Duggar and her husband claim that their mission work isn’t about converting people. They seem especially focused on convincing skeptics that they aren’t targeting Central America’s high Catholic population.
“God did not call us to convert Catholics,” they write. “God did not call us to convert Catholics, but God has called us to follow His example.”
“He has not called us to convert Buddhists, Muslims, Baptists, atheists, Mormons, Lutherans, Jehovah’s Witnesses, Methodists, agnostics, or Hindus.”
So if Jill Duggar and Derick Dillard’s mission work has nothing to do with converting people, their focus must be on doing good works like feeding the hungry and sheltering the homeless, right? Not exactly. According to the couple, their main purpose for being in Central America is to preach to the poor.
“God has called us to Central America to preach the good news of the kingdom of God,” Jill and Derick wrote in response to criticism of their mission trip. “My desire is to preach good news to the poor and to proclaim liberty to the captives. I have the greatest treasure in Christ, and I want others to know that hope as well.”
In other words, instead of working to improve the lives of the needy in this world, they’re simply reassuring them that things will be better in the next.
In one of her older blog posts, Jill Duggar admits that her husband has spent some of their time in Central America preaching to the choir, so to speak.
“I have loved watching my husband help lead teams, preach to the local believers and love on the people here,” Jill wrote.
Jill recently shared an example of how she and Derick “love on” the people of Central America. In an Instagram photo, she can be seen visiting with the kids in a children’s home.
It would actually be pretty difficult for Jill and Derick to find non-Christians to convert or preach to in Central America. According to the Association of Religion Data Archives, almost 96 percent of the region’s population is already Christian. However, in some of their previous mission trip updates, Jill and Derick revealed that they managed to find a few non-believers to convert. In one such post, Jill Duggar claimed that she and her husband had been ministering to gang members and that they witnessed “some come to freedom in Christ.”
Jill explained that the presence of gang members actually makes it easier to get local non-believers to listen to them preach about eternal life.
“Because of the violence and fear in some areas we were in, people face the frequent reality of eternity and are more open to the gospel because of it.”
— Derick Dillard (@derick4Him) October 30, 2015
Jill has also documented the encounter that she and Derick had with a “very hard hearted” woman who wasn’t interested in hearing what they had to say. However, the couple rejoiced when their words had an impact on the woman’s friend. Jill’s account of the encounter sounds an awful lot like a religious conversion.
“Midway through our conversation her friend came up behind her and started crying,” Jill Duggar wrote. “When the first lady walked away, her friend stayed and talked with us and after sharing the gospel of Jesus Christ, we were so excited to see her come to faith!”
Some skeptics of the Duggar family likely believe that Jill Duggar and Derick Dillard are using their donated money to go on a Catholic conversion spree because of the past behavior of some other members of the family. Jill’s brother-in-law, Ben Seewald, complained about Catholics last summer after he and his wife, Jessa Duggar, visited Honduras during a short-term mission trip. According to Starcasm, Ben claimed that the locals were being persecuted by the Catholic Church.
“These brave Christians meet faithfully despite bitter persecution from the Catholics and those in Voodoo,” he wrote in a Facebook post. He later edited the post to remove any mention of Catholicism. As the Inquisitr previously reported, Jessa Duggar’s husband has also expressed his belief that Catholics are making “deadly errors,” and Jessa’s older brother, Josh Duggar, once tweeted that Catholics’ beliefs are “wrong.”
What do you think of Jill Duggar and Derick Dillard’s mission work? Have their updates just left you feeling more confused about what exactly they’re doing in Central America?