And away they go. Jill Duggar and Derick Dillard — who welcomed son Israel in April — are leaving their Arkansas home for an undisclosed amount of time. The 19 Kids and Counting stars made the announcement that they will be moving overseas for missionary work via their personal blog on Friday, June 26.
"Since we first began our relationship, it has always been our goal that Jesus Christ might be glorified as we serve others through family ministry, by whatever means that might be," the couple wrote. "We have a deep love and care for all of the world and a real passion for those in the nations, as many have even seen in the early stages of our relationship, and our hope is that all peoples of the world would come to repentance and put their hope in the Lord, Jesus Christ."
"God has put a desire in our hearts to serve Him internationally for longer than the typical short-term mission trip, but we didn’t know yet how God would fulfill that desire in us. We were prepared for the possibility of it being years before our family would be able to make a move of that magnitude," they continued. "It's something we've prayed about together in an effort to seek God's plan for our lives in His service."
Married since last year, the couple explained that they were faced with the new opportunity several months ago. Dillard, 26, felt that he had a "huge dilemma as the provider and the protector" of his family, but ultimately stepped down from his position at Walmart to begin their journey next month.
"We don’t expect this new adventure to always be easy, but God never promised that following Him wouldn’t have its challenges. We are confident in knowing that there is no better place to be than in the center of God’s will for our lives," Dillard wrote. "We look forward to this adventure and the joy of serving Him in this new way. We wanted to share this with you and ask for your prayers as our family makes this transition."
Their news comes amid many changes for the reality TV family. Late last month, 19 Kids and Counting was pulled from TLC amid Josh Duggar's molestation scandal. Jill, 24, (one of the victims in the case) and her parents, Jim Bob and Michelle Duggar, sat down with Fox News' Megyn Kelly about the ordeal. At the time, it was rumored that TLC would instead concentrate on Jill and Derick, and pregnant Jessa Duggar and her husband Ben Seewald, for a possible spin-off.
Sign up now for the Us Weekly newsletter to get breaking celebrity news, hot pics and more delivered straight to your inbox!