Jill Duggar Dillard has admitted that her preaching isn’t always effective on the mission field. She and Derick Dillard are still in El Salvador sharing the gospel, but some of the locals aren’t embracing the Counting On stars’ preferred brand of Christianity.
Jill recently shared a mission trip update on the Dillard Family website, and it included an account of her experience with a woman who strongly resisted Jill’s attempt to convert her. The woman had stopped coming to church, so Jill tried to pressure her into resuming her attendance by creating a posse of female missionaries and visiting the woman at home. Unfortunately, things didn’t go the way Jill hoped they would.
According to Jill Duggar, the first step in converting someone is to share the gospel with them. Next, Jill shares her personal testimony and her view of what it means to be Christian. She then tells a potential convert what they have to do to keep her from showing up on their doorstep again, and simply attending church isn’t enough to keep the Counting On star away.
“We were able to clearly present the gospel and explain to her that ‘being a Christian’ isn’t about just ‘praying a prayer for God to take you to heaven,’ being a ‘good person,’ or even going to church every week,” Jill writes. “We shared our testimonies and reiterated that being a Christian is about asking Jesus to be the ‘Lord’ of your life (letting him take control) and also asking him to be your Savior (take you to heaven one day).”
The woman responded to Jill Duggar’s words by sharing her fear that some of her family members would be unhappy if she converted. However, Jill also seems to believe that the woman has a hard heart.
“She was very attentive to what we shared; yet she wasn’t ready to commit her life to the Lord since it would most likely cause strain in family relationships. Please be in prayer for Velma that God will continue to soften her heart.”
Jill did not explain why the woman’s conversion would put a strain on her relationship with some of her family members, but it could be because her family already has their own faith. According to a 2013 report by the U.S. State Department, 51 percent of the population in El Salvador identifies as Roman Catholic and 33 percent as Protestant. Just 14 percent claim no religion.
As Entertainment Tonight reports, some of Jill and Derick Dillard’s critics are suspicious of their motives for choosing to do mission work in El Salvador: They believe that the couple’s main goal is to convert Catholics to their fundamentalist faith. Derick has denied that this is the case.
“God did not call us to convert Catholics,” Derick writes on his blog. “God did not call us to convert Catholics, but God has called us to follow His example. 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, in her latest blog post, Jill hints that she and her husband also desire for the people around them to embrace some very specific religious beliefs. Jill complains about the way some local Christians celebrate Easter, and she reveals that she’s trying to change the way they view the religious holiday.
“It is common here in our area for people to focus on the suffering of Jesus and lose sight of the hope that we can have through salvation because Jesus rose again,” Jill writes. “We wanted to highlight this important reality this last week on Easter Sunday.”
Jill and Derick Dillard have also been criticized for treating their long-term mission trip like a free vacation funded by donations from fans, and Jill has confirmed that work and play are often one and the same for her and her husband. In her recent blog post, she reveals that their mission work includes trips to the beach and basketball games.
“Last weekend we joined the youth for a special outing to the beach,” Jill writes. “Derick has also continued to build relationships by playing basketball and participating in tournaments in the local square.”
Jill Duggar and Derick Dillard will soon take a vacation from doing mission work. As Us Weekly reports, Jill is pregnant with their second child, and she’s returning home to give birth to the baby boy. Her due date is in July, so she, Derick, and their son Israel will be back in Arkansas soon.
[Featured Image by Dillard Family/Facebook]