“Counting On” star Jill Duggar-Dillard recently shared a post on her family’s official website, letting her fans know that a close friend of hers had met an unfortunate fate after getting murdered in El Salvador. Jill and her husband, Derick Dillard, are presently doing mission work in El Salvador and were shocked to learn about the news.
While Jill did not reveal many details, her post suggested that she and Derick had a close relationship to the person who passed away. "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," the pregnant reality TV star wrote on their family blog.
Jill Duggar-Dillard also admitted that, despite speaking with their friend and his family about the dangers of staying in their area, they are still overwhelmed after finding out about him being kidnapped and killed. “We've had them into our home three times in the past couple weeks!" she added.
The 26-year-old mother was not able to come to her friend’s funeral as she needed to watch over her son, Israel. Meanwhile, husband Derick went to the memorial service and was able to share words of encouragement to the bereaved family.
Following her blog post, Duggar fans were quick to worry about her safety and express their concerns. The Arkansas native does not only have her two-year-old son with her in El Salvador but she is also an expecting mother, carrying her second child in her womb. However, Jill and Derick has not announced any plans of putting off their mission amid safety concerns brought on by their friend’s murder. Still, the “19 Kids and Counting” alum asked for her fans to pray for the safety of their family.
"We will only be here a little while longer, before we return to the States to prepare for the birth of our second little one, so please also continue to pray for God's strength and grace to carry on with responsibilities and make the most of the short time left here before our return," Jill wrote on their website.
Since Jill’s post on their blog, her Duggar family also took some time to address the tragic incident. Her mother, Michelle Duggar, also asked for prayers for her daughter’s friends on Facebook. “Please pray for this family near Derick, Jill, and Israel,” she wrote. “They have suffered so much.”
Although Derick did not post about their friend’s death on their family blog, he did share a special message for Jill. Celebrating her birthday, he posted a message expressing his gratitude and saying how thankful he is to cherish a “helpmate in life.”
“You are a radiant example of the love of Christ. Walking through life with you has been one of the greatest joys I have ever experienced,” he shared. “I have seen the love and care you have shown your family, Israel, and they people we are working with every day. You make me a better person every day. I love you with all that I am and it is such an honor to be your husband!”
Jill, Derick, and Israel have been taking on mission work in Central America since 2015, but with vacation breaks in between. The family first said goodbye to the US in July and have come back a few times to their home country for family events.