Jill Duggar Dillard and Derick Dillard always speak or write in very vague terms whenever they discuss exactly what they will be doing when they finish Spanish lessons and start their mission work in earnest. However, Seekers of Souls (S.O.S.) Ministries recently shared a detail about Jill and Derick's Central America mission trip that the couple has neglected to mention.
According to the "Duggar Family News: Life is not all pickles and hairspray" Facebook page, S.O.S. Ministries shared its own update on Jill Duggar and Derick Dillard's mission trip in an a recent email newsletter. According to S.O.S., a large part of what Jill and Derick will be doing involves offering marital advice to the women and men to whom they will be ministering.
"It is SOS's privilege to introduce Derick and Jill Dillard to the Latin mission," the email update reads. "They will come alongside Alex Lara, our Director of Missions for Latin America, to assist, preach, and engage the new regions. We have prepared, trained and now appointed them. Derick will focus on the men and young people, while Jill will focus on women and children ministry. Both of them will help with strengthening and encouraging married couples, which is mostly neglected in the Latin world, and they have already led a group from the church to a new region to preach the gospel."
S.O.S. doesn't reveal where it gets the idea that "encouraging married couples" is "mostly neglected in the Latin world," but statistics indicate that marriages last longer in many parts of Central America than they do in the United States. Jill Duggar and Derick Dillard were taking their Spanish classes in Antigua, Guatemala, and Divorce Science reports that Guatemala had a divorce rate of just 0.3 in 2012. According to the CDC, the United States had a divorce rate of 3.4 that same year.
According to the National Healthy Marriage Resource Center, the faith of Latin American men and women may have something to do with why divorce rates are so low in their countries.
"Roman Catholicism is the predominant religion across the region and may contribute to marriage being highly valued by most Latin Americans."However, Jill Duggar and Derick Dillard aren't converting Central Americans to Roman Catholicism – Jill and Derick are Independent Baptists who have actually been accused of going to Central America to convert Catholics to their own brand of fundamentalist Christianity. In a November 3 post on the Dillard Family blog, Derick claimed that this is not true.
"God did not call us to convert Catholics, but God has called us to follow His example," Jill Duggar's husband wrote. "He has not called us to convert Buddhists, Muslims, Baptists, atheists, Mormons, Lutherans, Jehovah's Witnesses, Methodists, agnostics, or Hindus. God has called us to Central America to preach the good news of the kingdom of God. My desire is to preach good news to the poor and to proclaim liberty to the captives."
However, S.O.S. Ministries says that one of its main goals is converting non-Christians into believers.
"The very nature of the acronym of S.O.S. states our mission: Seekers Of Souls. We are committed to seeking after lost souls and making them disciples of Jesus."S.O.S. describes the man Jill Duggar and Derick Dillard will be working with, Alex Lara, as an "indigenous missionary" from El Salvador who is being strategically used to spread the gospel in his home country and surrounding areas.
Jill Duggar and Derick Dillard have posted numerous mission trip updates on their family website, and TLC even shared some footage of their trip on the Duggars' three-part TV special, Jill & Jessa: Counting On. However, the couple hasn't said anything about their mission work involving doling out marriage advice. Perhaps they shared so few details on exactly what they would be doing because they were too busy learning as much Spanish as they could before leaving Antigua for the mission field. During the Jill & Jessa finale, Derick admitted that he only knows 136 Spanish words.
In the finale, Jill Duggar talked about one way she plans on ministering to women. Jill became a Certified Professional Midwife (CPM) last year, but she revealed that she probably won't be delivering many babies while working on the mission field. Instead, Jill says that she plans on using her midwifery skills "to educate women." According to Jill, part of her mission work will include debunking old wives' tales about pregnancy.
"One woman told me you're not allowed to eat cheese because the baby will come out with cheese," Jill Duggar said in the Jill & Jessa: Counting On finale. "Old wives' tales are something that I'm going to be battling on the mission field."
It seems as though Jill Duggar and Derick Dillard are still being secretive about where they'll be living when they finish their Spanish classes to start evangelizing and counseling married couples. However, during the Jill & Jessa: Counting On finale, they did reveal that they would be leaving Antigua for a more remote area of Central America.
Jill Duggar and Derick Dillard have only been married for a year and a half and seem to know little Spanish, so are you surprised that they'll soon be using their limited Spanish vocabulary and marriage experience to counsel Spanish-speaking couples?
[Image via Derick Dillard/Instagram]