With Derick and Jill Dillard at the Duggar family home in Arkansas, viewers have wondered: are they back in the U.S. for good? After Derick and Jill spoke about the dangers of their home in Central America, and about their fears for their toddler son, will they return? Also, what if Jill Dillard gets pregnant, with the ongoing concerns about Zika virus?
Less than two months ago, statements made by Jill and Derick Dillard sounded like hints that all was not well in Central America and that the couple was reconsidering long-term mission adventures while their son is so young. Newer statements, though, seem directed at Duggar fans, to reassure that a return to the mission field is, if not imminent, at least in the plans.
In August, Jill spoke of staying close to home for her son Israel’s safety and comfort, and Derick talked of the dangers of his work. This was released as the couple traveled to the Duggar family home in Arkansas, for what they described as
…a short stateside term that will extend into the fall.
However, there was no real indication of exactly when the Dillard family intended to return, other than ‘into the fall.’ Meanwhile, Jill’s sister Jinger Duggar is being presented to audiences in courtship and engagement — and TLC has been dropping hints that other Duggar siblings are also either in, or approaching, courtships. This has, naturally, led to speculation that Jill will at least stay in the U.S. to see one more Duggar married.
Meanwhile, Jill has been sending rather stark and direct messages to the Duggar fan base, openly declaring that she watches social media comments — something Duggar fans (and not-so-much fans) have been speculating about for perhaps as long as any Duggar kids have had social media accounts.
Derick Dillard posted a pretty standard Instagram photo — a dish he was eating (fried Oreos, in this case), a thumbs-up, and a hashtag.
What was interesting, though, was Jill’s comment.
@derickdillard lol just wondering what people will say about your diet now?????#watchingcomments #cheapentertainment
A pair of hashtags declaring that Jill is watching the comments and considers it cheap entertainment accompany a statement indicating that the Duggar crew does notice how many negative comments they get. Only a few days later, the couple released a Dillard family update.
Bearing in mind that viewers have questioned whether Jill will return to Central America and that Jill has declared that the Duggar family does watch the comments, this seems like a response.
“Jill and I are taking Bible classes, sharing the story of our mission with people in the US and preparing to return to Central America.”
Derick also takes time to remind Duggar fans that their contributions are making the Dillard family’s trips possible, and to address a few other things viewers often question, such as his employment.
“When our schedule allows, I’m also working a number of jobs in between for additional support of my family.”
Dillard also addressed, again, the question of how donated funds from Duggar fans are being used.
“We are thankful that we’ve been able to put ministry funds to the most direct use in Central America and have been able to cover all of our travel, except one trip there, and other indirect expenses with non-ministry funds.”
In the couple’s most recently released TLC video, filmed while they were in Central America, Derick Dillard notes his favorite feature of a hotel where he and Jill spent their anniversary: a heavy-duty wall.
“Sombody else is taking care of the security… I can let my guard down to some degree.”
Again, this segment was filmed during Jill and Derick’s stay in Central America, so perhaps Dillard felt that its release now might reaffirm Duggar fans’ questions about whether the couple will return. This may have spurred his reassurance that he and Jill Dillard do plan to leave the Duggar home and return to the mission field.
[Featured Image by TLC/YouTube]