"19 Kids and Counting" star Jessa Seewald is asking fans to continue to pray for her sister and brother-in-law, Jill and Derick Dillard, as they leave the United States to embark on a long-term mission trip.
As previously reported by the Gospel Herald, Derick, 26, and Jill, 24, announced late last month that they felt called by God to enter into the mission field.
"Earlier this year we shared our plans with our families, and in May, I shared this decision with my manager at Wal-Mart, where I was working in the Tax department," Derick announced on the Dillard Family blog. "I recently left the company and we are currently preparing to leave the U.S. and begin our new endeavor in July. We don't expect this new adventure to always be easy, but God never promised that following Him wouldn't have its challenges."
On Sunday, Jill's younger sister, Jessa, took to social media to share a photo of the young couple headed to the airport with their arms around one another, carrying their son, Israel David.
She captioned the Instagram photo: "So excited for @jillmdillard& @derickdillard! They've been praying about and working towards this transition since late last year, and are so excited to finally be heading to the mission field! Please continue to pray for them!"
While the Dillard family never officially announced where their missionary work will lead them, citing "security purposes," some have speculated the young couple is headed to Nepal, where Derick previously worked as a missionary under Jill's father, Jim Bob Duggar.
"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," Derick explained in a recent blog post. "Our hope is that all peoples of the world would come to repentance and put their hope in the Lord, Jesus Christ."
In continuing his blog post, Derick revealed that in the days leading up to their mission trip, he and his wife made it a "top priority" to spend time in the Word of God and pray for the days ahead.
"We ask each of our prayer and financial partners to please be in prayer with us for the hearts of the people who we will be able to share the Gospel of Jesus Christ with, for wisdom and discernment in our work, and for the safety of my family," Derick wrote.
The young couple also spent one final night at home where they celebrated the Fourth of July with the rest of the Duggar family.
"Happy Independence Day!" Jill captioned an Instagram photo of the festivities. "We are celebrating with family today. #4thofJuly #fireworks."
"We are glad we were able to celebrate the independence of this great nation 239 years ago once more before we depart!" Derick added in his blog post. "As we soon serve God elsewhere we will continue to pray every day for America."