Jill Duggar & Derick Dillard: Why Their Central America Update Has Us Deeply Worried

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Judging by their most recent update, Jill Duggar and Derick Dillard are facing some pretty harrowing situations down in Central America.

For a variety of reasons, this has left us alarmed.

Jill and Derick Dillard for TLC

They've been back in the mission field for several weeks now, and after they finally checked in with their fans last week, worry set in.

Working with a short-term team, they're "traveling a lot between different countries doing ministry traveling throughout Central America."

This is different from the Arkansans' previous mission trip there, in which they remained in one location - El Salvador - almost exclusively.

As usual, Derick and Jill have asked for fans' prayers and money as they've been ministering people they hope will come to know Jesus.

The people they speak of live hard lives, make no mistake.

Jill said that one young teenage girl she came to know had died a tragic death from a seizure and a fatal fall, after living a tough existence.

Jill Duggar and Derick Dillard in NYC Photo

Her mom had been in prison, and as Jill said later:

"Most people say she died of a broken heart."

Derick also relayed a scary moment after he offered a ride home from church to an older woman who started "wheezing and coughing loudly."

The Dillards pulled over to help tend to her.

Jill shared that "because we live in a rural area," their options were limited with the elderly woman's life hanging in the balance that day:

"They decided it was best to have the local medical person come check her out first, instead of [going] to the hospital, which is over an hour away."

Terrifying. So what happened to her?

Jill Duggar and Mr. Derick Dillard

Thankfully, an inhaler helped and she bounced back from the coughing, likely due in part to the dust from the dry season in that region.

Stories like these are sad, but also worrisome.

Jill and Derick want to save the world, or at least do their small part in making it a better place, which is both selfless and commendable.

Still, you can't help but wonder about the impact on her health, on Derick's, on her toddler son, and the baby she's currently making.

If she doesn't take care of herself and her own family first, then she won't be able to help anyone else in an unstable, developing world.

This isn't some far-fetched concern, as some fans have openly wondered if Derick Dillard's health has once again become an issue.

Jill Dillard and Derick Duggar Holiday Photo

Perhaps to allay those concerns, Jill added that Derick recently “participated in a basketball tournament with guys from the local town.”

As for little Israel, Jill says her son is making the most of his international upbringing, adding that he is making friends and happy there:

“Israel loves it and so do we! Last week, we were able to host the children from church in our home for children’s church and snacks."

Jill concluded her missive by assuring fans that all is well, writing, “We are excited to be back doing the work our hearts love so much."

The Dillards hope that they can help "all peoples of the world" naturally "come to repentance and put their hope in the Lord, Jesus Christ.”

Again, though, is she risking their lives to do it?

Jill Duggar Pregnant Photo

One fan asked simply: “What is wrong with Jill?”

It's a valid point, considering “she nearly died in childbirth last time. I know we are to trust the Lord but He gave us a brain with common sense."

Again, a fair argument, especially with Zika.

El Salvador has advised residents not to pregnant until at least 2018 due to the mosquito-borne disease linked to infants' brain damage.

"Why would they bother returning for just a couple of months," another fan asked, given the virus' range and "especially with Jill pregnant?"

Beyond the risk of the virus, there's a lack of adequate prenatal care (especially with a high-risk VBAC delivery, which she plans to have).

Even flying home late in pregnancy is risky.

Jill Duggar Baby Bump Image?

"Why don’t they just wait another 6 months for the baby to be born and Jill to have time to recover after the delivery?" another fan wondered.

“Think about your children’s safety first!”

Beyond medical problems, they have lamented the kidnapping, rape and murder that are surprisingly routine in this region of the world.

“Every week, it seems like there would be different instances," Jill recalled of the sometimes dangerous conditions they would encounter. 

Dillard has asked for prayers for her own safety numerous times, and thank goodness no one has been seriously hurt or sick thus far.

Nevertheless, the longer they're down there, the closer she gets to her due date, and the more alarming their stories seem to become.

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