Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Zika Virus Hits Central America

 Jill and Derick Dillard, Israel Dillard

As we announced earlier this month, Jill and Derick Dillard have been commissioned to serve with S.O.S. Ministries in Central America. The Dillards spent autumn studying Spanish at a language school in Guatemala in preparation for their entry into the mission field.

If you follow the news, you are probably familiar with the Zika virus outbreak. Zika virus was first reported in South America in May 2015 and spread to Central America in November.

Unfortunately, the three Central American countries in which S.O.S. teams are currently working--El Salvador, Guatemala, and Honduras--are now experiencing ongoing transmission of Zika.
The Dillard family

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), only one in five people infected with Zika experience symptoms--which can include fever, rash, joint pain, or conjunctivitis (red eyes).

The virus is primarily transmitted through the bites of infected Aedes mosquitoes, which means that using bug spray and mosquito nets will go a long way in containing the outbreak.

If the symptoms are mild, why is Zika such a hot topic in the news this month? The CDC reports that the virus, which can be spread from a pregnant woman to her unborn baby, has caused serious birth complications and brain defects.

Expectant mothers are encouraged to postpone travel to regions infected with Zika. Some countries have asked female residents to delay becoming pregnant, with El Salvador going so far as to advise women to wait up to two years to conceive.

For the time being, Jill and Derick Dillard wish to keep their location confidential, but please keep their little family, as well as others in Central and South America, in your prayers as they serve in regions where Zika is present.


Photos courtesy dillardfamily.com

111 comments:

  1. Why can't they just serve here in the U.S.??? They should come home.

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    1. They serve where God has called them, not where you call them.

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    2. Because God called them to be missionaries there. We, as Christians, are called to preach the Gospel to all the ends of the Earth. As long as they are following God's path for their lives, they will be safe in His arms. He cares for His children.

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    3. Because you go where God calls you, if you want to truly be happy.

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    4. Because Jesus said, "Go." We are to spread the Word to all the nations and that's exactly what they are doing. God bless them.

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    5. Having known many missionaries, and even having several in my family, I assure you they don't just pick a place to serve. They pray at great length for direction from God as to where in the world to go (or if they should stay close to home). In some cases, depending on if they work with an agency, the agency may assign them to a particular location that is in need.

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    6. Because people in other countries need to hear about Jesus. Not just the US.

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  2. Why is their location confidential? If they're still asking for money, then their supporters should be able to know where the money is going and what it's being used for. Are they already back in Arkansas? Someone in that state made the news yesterday by testing positive for Zika. It was someone who had traveled to the area with the virus.

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    1. Locations of missionaries address often kept confidential to protect people who are converging to Christianity and to keep the missionaries from being kicked out, or worse, imprisoned.

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    2. It is funny people that don't support the Dillard are the ones always wanting to know the most about their ministry and personal lives.

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    3. They're in Central America, which is already Catholic, so Christian anyway. They aren't going to be kicked out or imprisoned for being missionaries. They're not in North Korea, after all, where attempted missionaries *have* been imprisoned for violating laws to try to distribute Bibles. They're in a Christian country. They could potentially be kidnapped for ransom if anyone thought they had money, but that's about the worst of the legitimate possible consequences. Beyond that, yes, they should indeed be up front about what they're doing if they continue to keep asking for money.

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    4. There's no danger of imprisonment for preaching in Central America. That happens in other countries.

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    5. I wonder that too. I wish they could show more information about their missionary trips.

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    6. They let tlc film their location why ARE they keeping things so hush hush...maybe because they are back in the US.doesn't anyone get suspicious of these people not giving monthly updates like before???

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  3. I read an article earlier today that said there was a confirmed case in Arkansas, so it sounds like the virus has hit the US, too!

    http://5newsonline.com/2016/01/26/arkansas-resident-tests-positive-for-zika-virus/

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    1. There are several US cases from people who have traveled outside the US,but the virus won't be able to spread to other Americans until mosquito season starts.

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    2. That's awful!

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  4. Definitely will pray for them. Is it fatal (to the person not the baby)?

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    1. According to the CDC, Zika virus is usually not fatal.

      Lily and Ellie

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    2. "Although death is rare, one out of five people infected with Zika virus can become very ill, according to the CDC."

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    3. The fear is for expectant mothers as the virus causes dangerous birth defects.

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    4. It's not fatal to the person or to the baby, but it can cause microcephaly on the baby if the mother has the virus while pregnant. The number of babies with microcephaly here in Brazil is increasing drastically each day.

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  5. Will the Dillards use abstinence to delay becoming pregnant, or just not heed the warning? We know they don't believe in birth control of any kind.

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    1. That's an extremely personal question to ask and frankly you do not need to know!

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    2. Wow... Too personal and none of your business, don't you think?

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    3. I think people are not concerned, not trying to get personal. And it's ok to talk about these things.

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    4. I meant to say they ARE concerned.

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  6. There are so many things that can happen when you put yourself out there in service to the Lord. Yes, tragedies happen, even to ministers of the Gospel, but God is good and faithful and will bring glory from the work that they are doing wherever they are. I pray that God will protect them and give them the opportunity to serve Him for many years.

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    1. He's just fine, you're just used to obese people in the U.S. Fattest country in the world with very, very sick and toxic people. That's a fact!

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    2. Wow! That was so nice of you to point out how fat and sickly the U.S. is! Perhaps if people had affordable healthy food to eat at the grocery store it would be better. Perhaps if drug companies had cures for illnesses instead of a pill to make someone feel better enough to get through the day but not fully healed. Perhaps if people didn't have to work 3 jobs to make ends meet, had the time to cook their own meals and we didn't have food companies with their hands in our governments pockets. Perhaps if the government banned foods with added hormones and meat/ dairy that wasn't organic. But you're right. the U.S. is fat. Thanks.

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    3. How rude. Not all of us are fat. Some who are have medical reasons. To obsess on weight can have a negative effect on some people. It's callec anorexia and bulimia. So please ease up.

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    4. ACTUALLY Mexico is the fattest country in the world they surpassed us years ago.

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  7. What an awful disease. Hope Derick is careful with his family and with himself. He looks so frail and underweight these days. No extra weight on him to help in time of sickness.

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    1. Would people please stop with that already? He's thin, that's how his body is built. I'm thin like that and so are my brothers and no matter how much we eat we don't gain much weight. We are healthy but we can't help how our body is built. I'm sure he eats and takes care of himself. I just had to say something because these comments have gone on for some time now.

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    2. I think he is thin because of his jaw surgery. I had the same surgery...for me, it was 6 weeks with no solid food, then careful after that. It's major surgery and full recovery takes months. Also, his mom and brother look like thin people, so he would tend to be thin regardless.

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    3. He is thinner now than he was before the surgery. His face is still adjusting and healing as well. Hopefully he will gain back the weight he lost while he was on the all liquid diet.

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    4. Thank you. I have a friend who had the surgery and experienced the same.

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  8. I will pray for their little family! It is their decision when to share the news of where they are. I bet it's in the middle of Central America and I hope that Jill takes care and the whole family is safe down there too.

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  9. With a baby and them wanting to have a family I feel they need to stop the dangerous missions and go home! They are putting their child (and any future child) at risk. There are plenty of missions that can be done here in the good ole USA. They need to put any missions that take place in unsafe areas on hold till they've raised their family. Then the TWO of them can go do whatever they want. I know they have good hearts and want to serve the Lord but it can been done in safety!!

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  10. Will be praying for them!

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  11. I read about Zika yesterday and from what I could gather the link with it to the birth defects is SUPPOSED link at this point. While not denying difficulty with birth defects it sounded more to me another tactic used by satan to fear people into not having children. How quick we are towards fear when it comes to that. What will that do to the countries that follow that...what long term results will come. What is China reaping from laws controlling family size? Just smells the same to me. Especially considering it is assumed a link, but hard to prove, and difficult to even know if you're at "risk". That's my two cents.

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    1. Why would satan not want people to have children?

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  12. I will definitely keep them and other residents of Guatemala in my prayers and all of those affected by Zika in my prayers

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  13. The safest place to be is in the center of Gods will. Whether that is in South America where there is Zika or in America. God will protect and bless them for following Him.

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    1. Really? Ironic that you say that the safest place is in the center of God's will when Christians across America are shouting that Christians world wide are being persecuted and killed . Doesn't seem safe to me.

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    2. Eternity. Following God's will shows that you believe in Him. Safe in the arms of Jesus for eternity is better than 110 yrs of comfort in any town USA. So yes, the center of God's will is the absolute safest place for all eternity!!

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    3. I wish there was a LIKE button for your comment!!

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  14. Microcephaly is no joke, especially in countries with few resources to support the families of severely disabled children. I hope Jill and Derick will take precautions to prevent pregnancy while in Central America.

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  15. This scares me. I wish they would come home.

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  16. Prayers, for safety for not only them but all of those that life up the blood stain banner of Jesus! That God will place a protecting power around them all as they serve 8n his name.

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  17. If she is pregnant she should come home.prayers

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  18. If she is pregnant she should come home.prayers

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  19. prayers for the Dillards and all of those in the areas affected by this. For those saying they should just come home. First being in the U.S. will not protect them from all the diseases of the world or from terrorism or anything else. Second being a missionary is a calling by God. While it takes a lot of faith to go to the mission field, it is also not something that you should run from at the first sign of hardship. Since it is a calling from God you serve in the mission field where ever it is that God is leading you to go. For some that is other countries and for some they stay here in the U.S. ... The whole world is God's mission field.

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  20. Jill and Derick should come home. It's not a safe place for them or their little son. Why can't this do missionary work somewhere else>

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    1. If missionaries only go to safe places, who will help people in dangerous places?

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  21. I feel that it's a little selfish just to want them to come home. If God wants them there, God will protect them. God's plans are greater and much better than ours.

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    1. Since October, 4,000 babies were born with microcephaly in Brazil. That is radically up from the 150 total born with that condition in all of 2014. Doesn't sound as if there's a whole lot of protection going on right now. Sometimes we have to use the common sense God gave us, too.

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  22. I can imagine that Jill might want another baby but it would be risky just now!

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  23. It would be so wonderful if they could adopt orphaned children while they are over there!!!! While they are in between their own pregnancies! Anyone who unselfishly gives a child a good & loving home through adoption is an amazing person! God bless adoptive parents!!!

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  24. They are such warm and wonderful people as are their family. I only wish that I had the love and warmth that they have. It is such a precious thing. I will say a prayer every day that no one will contract this awful illness. May God protect you and your work as you serve him there in Central America.

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  25. Yeesh. Sounds like a scary situation from what I saw on the news. Wouldn't want to be down in Central America right now if I was pregnant!

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  26. I wish some folks would quit lumping together Jill and Jessa and what JimBob and Michelle do...they are married women with their own new rules and way of life.It doesn't mean that they will be exactly like their parents, they will most likely follow their husbands rule as they believe the husband is head of house. Perfect example, Zack and Alyssa Bates, they do their own thing and still adhere to Christian values, they are not exactly like their mom and dad and there is nothing wrong with that, so why do some of y'all think Jill and Jessa will be exactly like mom and pop Duggar...not likely, but similar. Let them be individuals and lets quit judging them so harshly for EVERY little thing they do or don't do. What do the haters have to gain by bashing these fine folks, I will never know...sending the Dillards my prayers...Godspeed☺

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    1. Did you really say they will follow their husbands rule? How degrading. They are grown--married--women. Not children. My husband will never "rule" me. We submit--support--one to the other, but with respect not domination.

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    2. I am not a "hater," and I would never "bash" this faithful family. But it is hard to extract yourself too far from your family, and the Duggars are a particularly strong family. Not saying that is bad. When we do marriage counseling, we explain that "family systems" is a major contribution as to why we are who we are.

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    3. Yes, I did say that they follow their husband rule,as they are head of house...but with their wives imput.I could have maybe worded it better.JimBob never makes decisions without Michelle, they have a partnership. If you follow the family you would know that they are perfectly fine with that ,it works for them, they do not consider it degrading, and they are happy that way.Let them live how they want and others can live how they see fit.Clearly we are all different...as it should be.I do however respect peoples differences,even if they differ from my own.Blessings :]

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  27. They should still continue to have more babies and leave it up to God.

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    1. God created doctors to help protect us. Doctors are saying if you get infected with the virus the baby's brain will be underdeveloped. Doctors are asking couples to wait until they can get the virus under control. I would never wish a disabled child on anyone as it is stressful, challenging and a hard life for the child. I think Jill and Derrick should protect themselves and their family. It's not forever...just until the virus has more understanding and possibly a way to reverse the damage.

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    2. I so agree with you. It angers me when people just say "leave it up to God." Well, our loving Heavenly Father has given us wisdom--he has given Dr's wisdom--to say wait for pregnancies to protect the unborn. No where in the Bible does it say we cant use birth control. One person asked if they would use abstinence--fair enough as the Duggar family has made it abundantly clear how they feel about contraceptives--well, even abstinence is a form of birth control.
      God gave us wisdom and understanding--we should use it more often without getting into a theological debate over it.

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  28. Prayers going up for God's hedge of protection around Derick, Jill and little Israel. May they be a blessing to those they minister to.

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  29. I have used garlic capsules to keep bugs from biting me here. Please try sending them the garlic capsules from the health food store. It really works here. They don't like the taste of you anymore. Praying for sure. Sending my love and be safe.

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  30. They may have to learn that birth controll isn't always the worst....

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  31. Are you aware that he had some pretty intense oral surgery?
    Besides, he's naturally thin, not unhealthy.

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  32. Why must so many be so quick to offer unsolicited advice? Derrick and Jill have made their decision to go serve in the mission field - so why do we need all details? Pray for them and their family, asking God to use them and bless them and those they are working with. We should be thankfulvfor their willingness to serve, and offer support and prayers, not negatives!

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    1. Very well said. I totally agree. I know most people who want them to come home are genuinely concerned. But this is THEIR decision and what we can do out of love and concern is lift them up in prayer.

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  33. Praying for their safety and protection from all sickness or harm. I hope they have lots of bug spray. God bless them.

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  34. So is there any truth that 19 Kids is coming back?
    Kim

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  35. How does it affect little ones, like someone who is Israel's age? I will pray for their safety.

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    1. He may get the virus and be ill, just like he would from any virus. But it won't affect his development. It only affects the unborn children.

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  36. Replies
    1. Prayers and taking the right measures! :)

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  37. Let's not minimize the situation either. I hope Jill and Derick do the right thing and stay away from Central America, it would be the best for them and for the baby's sake!

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  38. In my own church they talked about helping exploited women in asia, south pacific through their missionary work, but I was like we have many many exploited women here. Why is so much effort spent in other countries? Why are so many Christians, conservatives and support the military and traditional values and don't support helping other Americans. I just flabbergasts me.

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    1. I agree with you. My niece and her fiance are home-missionaries. They rescue men and women out of the sex slave industry in a large city right here in the USA. Sometimes I think American Christians don't want to look at the tragedy in their own back yard so to speak..

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  39. I think it is unfair for the CDC to be telling women not to get pregnant. Should they be made aware? Yes. But it is not their place to tell women not to get pregnant. What if it was them telling women not to have abortions? What would be the public's response? Is it not (in the eyes of media not me) for a woman to decide what she wants to do and according to the media doesn't have to answer to anyone? Is not her own choice to get pregnant? Then why aren't people everywhere angry at CDC?? Double standards.

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    1. What is wrong with warning people? Maybe if some kind of controls or remedies are found people can have their children later on.

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    2. Really??? I think if the CDC wasn't recommending to hold off on getting pregnant that people would be in an uproar! When you are pregnant you are supposed to do certain things to keep the fetus healthy. If there is any chance that a mosquito bite could significantly damage the brain of an unborn child, why would anyone want to get pregnant at that point? I would never take that chance.

      So all the babies being born with underdeveloped brains will have a good life? Maybe unable to walk, talk or maybe confined to a hospital bed? Or maybe won't live past age 3? Please...spare the heartache and just wait!

      It irks me that people think this virus is a joke. It isn't. Babies born with underdeveloped brains are not going to grow up being normal. The CDC should be putting out those recommendations!

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    3. No one is making the decision for the women. The CDC is making people aware of the risks and for those who don't want to risk a child's life, they are giving advice.

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    4. Actually in some countries in Central America it is forbidden to have an abortion even if the mothers life is in danger. also birth control is very difficult to come by. But now some of those same countries are telling the women not to have children. A very difficult and dangerous situation for women in those countries. Their goverments should be helping women to get acces to reliable birth control!

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    5. If you had read my comment I said that they should be made aware I never said they shouldn't to do that. But telling women not to get pregnant just sounds like it is crossing a line. I am aware that abortion is illegal in most those countries but I never referenced those countries in relation to abortions. It was merely an example.

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    6. Anyway I'm glad to get all your insight. And grateful we are having an open discussion about a serious issue.

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  40. ...the 2016 Olympics will contribute to spreading the virus.

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    1. It definitely will. I think the CDC and World Health Organization are very concerned. Awareness will help keep it from spreading. Know what to do to best protect yourself and your family.

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  41. They should definetley avoid getting pregnant!Don't just pray for protection, use it as well! God is not against the use of birth control, especially not if it can prevent these horrible birth defects. The birth defects from this virus are really horrible for unborn children.

    http://www.desiringgod.org/articles/does-the-bible-permit-birth-control

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  42. The Zika virus can cause severe microcephaly in infants born to women who were exposed during pregnancy. Women in these countries have been advised to delay pregnancy until 2018. It would be ridiculous for Jill to not use birth control and accept this serious risk.

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  43. They really should do mission work in Africa. It's much needed there. Plus no Zika Virus that causes birth defects. Central and South America are already Christian dominated areas. They could be more useful in other counties.

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    1. The Zola virus is in Afica as well. It has been for years.

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  44. I find it surprising that with world wide news about this virus in Central America and knowing that Jill and Derick are there, that this family has kept quiet about how the Dillards are going to address this situation. I'd like to know what they're going to do also because they have a small child who can't speak for himself. God gave them a child to protect as well as love.

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    1. They are not obligated to give us details about every single thing that happens. No matter how interested or concerned the "fans" are, how Jill and Derrick deal with this situation is really no one's business but their own.

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  45. Looks like they're back.

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  46. Just maybe she is with child now and thats why she is back in Arkansas filming.Patient people...good things come to those who wait...our Duggar prayers for their return could be just around the bend ;)

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  47. I find it strange since this family believes that Christian principles are being threatened here in the U.S., that the Dillards haven't chosen to strengthen those beliefs here in this country in the first place. The U.S. doesn't need missionaries?

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    1. If God is laying the US on your heart than that would be what you should do. Typically, missionaries go to countries where the Bible and worship are not easily available. Here in the US we have tons of churches in every town and lots of bibles available for free in libraries and also on the Internet. When you pray for God's will, He will take you on exciting journeys!

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  48. Just from watching Derick and Jill on TlC, I can imagine Jill helping and counseling the women who are pregnant or thinking of getting pregnant to protect them, through prayer and application of all the health suggestions from the CDC and other organizations. This is the very work she was called and trained for to do. What kind of missionary goes to a hardship area to help people at risk then bails out at the first sign of trouble. Glad Jesus didn't bail out on us.

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  49. My husband is 6 ft.2and 150 lbs. My son is eleven and only weighs 65lbs. They both eat very well.its just how they are built.different strokes foe different folks!

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  50. If Jill, Derick and Israel leave that area due to the Zika virus will they go to a different S.O.S. Mission location like Africa or Asia? It would be better to go to an needed area then just return to the states. They could do a lot of good in Africa or Asia.

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  51. God bless and guide them throughout their missionary experience.

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  52. Oh noooooo! I sure hope no one gets it. That's awful! I will pray for you guys!

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