Amid rumors that Jill and Derick Dillard will soon be returning from their trip to Central America, the Duggar family has given an answer. The couple will indeed be back soon, perhaps in time to join the family for the next season of their reality show. Is it just a visit, or is the Duggar daughter done with the mission field, and ready to go back to life as a full-time reality starlet?
Jill and Derick’s departure for the mission field was fraught with controversy. In part, this was because of viewers’ interpretation of her “mission” and the people Duggar son-in-law Derick Dillard would be preaching to.
#TLC to feature Jill Duggar’s missionary work of converting Catholic blasphemers to “Christian” in 76% Catholic El Salvador in new special.
— Kimma (@CheekyBeckett) September 24, 2015
The second controversy was with the couple’s frequent returns to the Duggar home in Arkansas, and the third, connected to all of the above, was the concern that donated funds might be misused.
After a particularly big outcry about the couple accepting missions donations while the Duggar family prepared for a new reality show, with viewers asserting that if the missions trip was for a TV show, then TLC should be footing the bill, not people who honestly thought they were helping the underprivileged and underpreached, Jill and Derick announced a return to Central America.
They declared at the time that they would not be returning to the U.S. for quite a while. Instead, the new reality show, Jill and Jessa: Counting On has featured the rest of the Duggar family visiting Jill in Central America.
Now, though, the Duggar Family Official Facebook page has made an announcement — Jill, Derick, and baby Israel will soon be home.
In a post about family birthdays, the Duggar Family Official Facebook page mentioned Jill’s absence.
We are only missing Jill!! It won’t be long though Derick, Jill & Israel will be home!
The timing, of course, appears to coincide with the return of the Duggar family’s new reality TV show, Jill and Jessa: Counting On, which People reports will be later this summer, though without a specific date.
So, is Jill returning to the Duggar family hometown to jump back into the lights, camera, action? The two married Duggar daughters have already speculated for audiences that they’d like to be pregnant at the same time again, according to Us Magazine and that sounds like a plot line. However, this visit isn’t entirely new news. When the young family left the U.S. for parts not explicitly named last year, they declared they’d be gone for a long time — and they also announced the next visit.
Via the Duggar Family Official Facebook page, October 19, 2015 (emphasis added).
“A message from Jill and Derick: We had a great visit recently to the States and as always it was a little hard to say goodbye! We are headed back to Central America. In the weeks ahead language school will become much more intense as we work to become fluent in Spanish. 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. It will be next summer before we plan to make a short visit back to the States again. Here are a few pics as we left this weekend. Please keep praying for us—we are praying for you!”
Thus, the upcoming return to the United States could just be the visit previously announced. However, the Duggar family statement that “Jill… will be home” has a permanent sound to it. Still, perhaps that’s simply the sound of a parent talking about their adult child, and means nothing more than that the family is excited to see Jill.
Also, on the Dillards’ blog, they refer to the trip as “return[ing] home for a little while,” but also talk about participating in local ministry and taking Bible classes, so the length of their ‘little while’ could be up for debate.
Either way, “late summer” is the time frame given both for Jill, Derick, and Israel’s return to Arkansas, and for the Duggar family’s return with the second season of Jill and Jessa: Counting On — so is it reasonable to expect it will be featured on an episode?
[Image via Duggar Family/Facebook]