There has been a lot of speculation as to exactly what Derick and Jill Dillard have accomplished since entering the mission field with their son Israel. The couple created the Dillard Family Ministries before leaving on the “long-term” mission project. Since moving to Central America, the Dillards have provided few updates on their mission progress or goals leaving many wondering what specific mission projects that family has completed during their time in Central America. The Dillards are seemingly trying to clarify some of the mission work by detailing both Derick and Jill’s positions within the missionary field.
A recent blog post by Derick and Jill Dillard outlines some of the things that the family has been working on since arriving in Central America. Derick notes that the S.O.S. Ministries, the organization that the Dillards work with in the mission field, is currently looking for a full-time pastor. In the meantime, Derick says he has taken on the role as pastor and is preaching two times per week.
Meanwhile, Jill is acting as a babysitter as mothers come to learn “skills development” in a bid to find a way to make income. Currently, the Dillards say there are two “skills” that women can come to the Bible studies to learn, craft making and hair cutting.
“We have partnered with another local believer named Ruth, who is skilled in teaching crafts. With supplies generously donated from the Church in the US, Ruth is teaching about 20 women how to make a new piece of jewelry each week. Once these women have completed Ruth’s teaching program, they can then employ their newfound skill to strengthen themselves and their communities. Recently, we have expanded to include hair-cutting as well, after receiving donated hair clippers. While Ruth is teaching the crafting class, there are usually a couple people receiving haircuts as part of the other training at the other end of the room.”
In order for the mothers to have the time to learn to make jewelry and take the hair cutting classes, Jill watches anywhere from 4 to 24 children. Jill uses the time with the children to teach Bible lessons and to evangelize to the children. Derick seemingly does the same with the adults, as it appears the women attend a Bible study before they move on to their “skills development.”
Derick and Jill Dillard also outlined that Jill’s siblings came for a visit and worked on one of the recent mission teams. The Duggars confirmed this mission work with photographs taken from their time in Central America. The mission provided an opportunity for Jessa Seewald to bring her son Spurgeon to meet Israel for the first time in person.
“The time with the team was especially memorable because a lot of Jill’s siblings were a part of that team. In fact, it was even the first time that Israel got to meet his new cousin, Spurgeon! “
While in Central America, the Duggars whole trip was filmed by the TLC crew for the latest Duggar series Jill & Jessa: Counting On. With the cameras rolling, Jessa and Jill visited a local orphanage along with numerous other members of the Duggar family. Jana Duggar noted that she loved visiting the orphanage because she “has a heart for babies and little ones.”
When the Dillards aren’t greeting their own family members, the couple spend their time welcoming other missions teams to the Central America S.O.S. Ministries field. The pair live in the S.O.S. Ministries “Hospitality House” and seem to spend most of their mission efforts on evangelizing in the area.
What do you think about Jill and Derick’s most recent blog post outlining their mission work? Is providing women with “skills training” in jewelry making and hair cutting the type of mission work you thought they would be performing abroad?
[Image via Facebook/ Duggar Family Official]