"19 Kids and Counting" stars Derick and Jill Dillard have announced their decision to go abroad for a long-term mission trip, citing a hope "that all peoples of the world would come to repentance and put their hope in the Lord, Jesus Christ."
Derick, 26, and Jill, 24, made the big announcement in a lengthy blog post on their family website.
"God has put a desire in our hearts to serve Him internationally for longer than the typical short-term mission trip," Derick wrote on the site. "We were prepared for the possibility of it being years before our family would be able to make a move of that magnitude."
Derick explains that the "life-changing" decision was made after a great deal of prayer and Biblical counsel.
"As I'm sure many of you fathers can understand, I (Derick) had a huge dilemma as the provider and protector of my little family," he explained "There were definitely more 'unknowns' with the international option. [...] After much prayer and seeking Godly counsel, we realized that taking this opportunity and moving overseas in order to serve is the best option for our family."
He emphasized, "Ultimately, in life there is nothing more important than simply loving, following and obeying our Creator."
The young man also revealed the plans to leave their Arkansas home and travel abroad have been forming for several months.
"Earlier this year we shared our plans with our families and in May, I shared this decision with my manager at Wal-Mart," he said.
Though the location has yet to be revealed, Derick has previously worked as a missionary in Nepal under Jill's father, Jim Bob Duggar. The big move will take place early in July, and the couple will bring their two-month-old son, Israel David.
"We don't expect this new adventure to always be easy, but God never promised that following Him wouldn't have its challenges," Derick wrote. "We are confident in knowing that there is no better place to be than in the center of God's will for our lives. 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."
The family's decision to move comes shortly after the revelation that Jill's older brother, Josh Duggar, had molested five underage girls as a young teen.
In light of the scandal, which was first publicized by In Touch Magazine,TLC pulled all episodes of "19 Kids and Counting" from its lineup for an indefinite period of time, and companies such as Walgreens, Payless Shoe Source, Choice Hotels, Pure Leaf Iced Tea and General Mills also removed their ads from the show.
At the time, rumors began swirling that a spinoff show was in the works, this time focusing on Jill and Derick, and Jessa and Ben Seewald. However, those plans will likely be put on hold amid news of Dillards' big move.
Meanwhile, Derick and Jill are asking for support as they embark on this new chapter in their lives.
"If you feel led to support our mission effort we would be so thankful to have you as a partner," Derick wrote. "You can give here on our website. Your prayers and your support mean so much to both of us as we begin this great new chapter in life!"