Jill Duggar and Derick Dillard have spent much of the past two years performing missionary work in Central America.
Overall, the young couple has had mostly positive things to say about the experience, but they also speak openly about the dangers of life in an impoverished village in El Salvador.
Along with tales of their favorable experiences, the Dillards have shared stories that highlight the fear and suffering that millions throughout the region endure each day.
The most memorable of these accounts involved the shocking murder of one of Jill Duggar’s friends from the area.
“We received a phone call on Monday from a friend here in Central America informing us that one of our other good friends (a fellow Christian) had been murdered the day before and that his family had found his body down by the river earlier that morning,” Jill wrote in a blog post last month.
"Even though we had spoke [sic] with our friend and his family about the realities of the dangers here, and especially in their area right now, we were shocked when we learned of his kidnap and murder."
Jill later revealed that she’d only met the victim a few times before his death, and some fans accused Jill of faking her grief, but most were sympathetic and genuinely concerned for the Dillards’ safety.
Now Derick Dillard is updating fans on the situation via a blog post of his own:
“As you all know, our last couple weeks in Central America were pretty crazy ones," Derick wrote.
"We have continued to stay in contact with our friends and trust that God will continue to sustain them as they persevere in the difficult areas [where] they live."
“The family of our friend who was murdered was forced to move every night due to threats on their lives. Recently, they were finally able to rent a place in a different are where they will be able to stay for the next couple months."
Derick went on to detail the struggles of another family in the region whose lives had also been shattered by violence and ill health:
"The family of our other friend who passed away due to complications from dialysis and surgery are very grateful for all prayers and funds given to cover funeral expenses," Dillard wrote.
"This man has one son left (the other one was murdered a couple months ago), and we believe this younger son will be able to help support his mom now that our friend has passed.”
These days, the Dillards are back in the US preparing for the arrival of their second child.
They have not yet revealed whether they plan to return to El Salvador, as they did after the birth of their first son.
Watch Counting On online for more of Jill and Derick’s often harrowing experiences in Central America.