Last month, Jill Duggar welcomed her second child with husband Derick Dillard.
Though they had been performing missionary work in El Salvador for the bulk of the pregnancy, the Dillards returned home for the birth, flying back to Arkansas just ahead of Jill’s third trimester.
After the birth of their first child, the Dillards returned to Central America to continue their humanitarian efforts.
It was widely assumed that they would do so a second time, but earlier this week Jill and Derick announced that they plan to remain in the States and seek ways to continue their work at home.
“Through a number of circumstances, and guided by much prayer and counsel, we are discerning the Lord leading our family’s full-time ministry back to the United States for the time being,” the Dillards wrote on their personal website.
“At this time, God has seen fit for our family to continue serving him in ministry within the context of Northwest Arkansas,” they continued.
Though their intentions seem to have been good, the Dillards time in El Salvador has been a frequent source of controversy.
For one thing, Jill and Derick are not licensed missionaries.
Both failed to complete course work required by the International Mission Board and the Southern Baptist Convention, and despite her claims to the contrary, Jill is not a certified midwife.
Their lack of church sponsorship has led the Dillards to resort to some unusual methods of funding their travels.
Jill and Derick have asked for donations from fans, which resulted in an uproar, as many on social media expressed their belief that the well-off couple should be donating portions of their considerable salaries to the poor, not soliciting cash from others.
Though the Dillards have removed the donation request links from their website, their requests have not been forgotten by fans, some of whom took the announcement that they won’t be working abroad anymore as an opportunity to ask if they’d still be begging for cash.
“Will you be soliciting money from your fans?” tweeted one follower.
“They had a good ministry going a couple of years ago called “Bumming For Gift Cards In The Name of Jesus” Guess it didn’t work out,” wrote another.
By way of an answer, the Dillards posted an addendum to their original post, reading:
“Beginning this month, we are discontinuing Dillard Family Ministries and will no longer be accepting donations through this organization.”
Yes, it seems the Dillards are very much aware of the outrage over their donation requests, and have thus taken the extra step to assure angry fans (and the IRS) that they’ll be shuttering their highly dubious non-profit organization.
In all likelihood, it was the uproar over Jill and Derick’s lack of proper licensing and solicitation of money from fans that led to their decision to remain in Arkansas.
The couple’s humanitarian work was supposed to help rebuild Jill’s family’s reputation in the months following the revelation of Josh Duggar’s sex crimes.
Unfortunately for the Duggars, like everything they do these days, it just resulted in more scandal.
Watch Counting On online for more from reality TV’s most controversial family.