Jill (Duggar) Dillard is back in Arkansas for what she describes as a brief visit. A number of factors, though, have led Duggar fans and detractors alike to suggest that Central America isn’t the safest place for the Dillard family, and to speculate on Jill’s return home. New video from TLC hints that Jill may be looking at dangers in the missions field differently than when she left, and she and Derick Dillard have both hinted at longing for the comforts of home.
It’s not as though Jill and Derick Dillard have been silent about the dangers and difficulties of life outside the U.S. They have spoken about seeing wild animals too close for comfort, and about searching for WiFi signal for Skype chats with the Duggar family. They’ve talked about items they struggle to purchase in their new home.
On the other hand, some clips make the Dillard home look more like a vacation cabin with relatively mild “roughing it” standards — no air conditioning, and bunk beds and mattresses on the floor for visitors.
Then there’s the fact that sometimes Jill and Derick Dillard make light of certain very real dangers.
When experts began warning about the possibility of Zika virus causing birth defects, Duggar fans started expressing concern for Jill. Was she in an affected area? Would she avoid pregnancy, as some were advising, until back in the United States?
Derick’s flippant response, suggesting that the couple could protect themselves from Zika with a can of bug spray, didn’t sit well with all viewers.
In July, Jill and Derick Dillard announced their imminent return to Arkansas, saying the stay would “extend into the fall.” The return would coincide with the return of Counting On, the new reality show starring the Duggar family, to TLC.
Derick talks about scorpions and geopolitical instability, and Jill says she has a harder time ministering through home visits. Then she discusses Israel.
“He’s a gringo, and he stands out, and with that brings risk. I feel much safer back home.”
She also speaks of the struggles of parenting when power and water outages cut resources, sometimes for days at a time. The Duggar family has traveled to Central America for missions trips regularly, but if Jill is expressing concern about the safety of her baby son, especially if she’s seeing dangers that can’t be staved off by keeping close to home, perhaps she’s starting to rethink the Dillard family’s life away from the comforts she grew up with.
The two married Duggar sisters, Jill Dillard and Jessa Seewald, would like to be pregnant with their next babies at the same time, according to Hollywood Gossip. Stack that information with another Duggar sister, Jinger, planning a wedding, and a Central America pregnancy possibly being dangerous for the next new member of the Duggar and Dillard families, and Jill has plenty of reasons to extend her stay from a visit into something more permanent.
Of course, Jill and Derick Dillard are also openly expressing the joys of being back in Arkansas — like air conditioning.
[Image via TLC/YouTube]