By Derick Dillard
Well, I'm from Rogers, AR, just about 45 min from where Jill lives, but we had to go 8,000 miles accross the world to meet. So about two years ago, when I was doing humanitarian work in Nepal, Jill's dad was one of my prayer partners. We would talk every couple weeks or so to discuss how our work was going and what current prayer needs were. Jill's dad would also mention periodically the work Jill was doing in her studies as a student midwife and her desire to someday use her skills overseas on the mission field. Being that we had similar life goals, she caught my attention. The first time Jill and I spoke was over the phone in a brief conversation we had back in March 2013. I continued speaking with Jim Bob (Jill's dad) over the summer, but didn't speak with Jill again until August. However, during this time I was praying about Jill and asking God for direction in getting to know Jill better.
The answer to my prayer came in August 2013, just before I left Nepal for a two week trip to Japan. During a conversation with Jim Bob, he mentioned how he thought Jill and I might get along well, having similar personalities and direction in life. He gave me Jill's phone number and we began texting, then emailing, then skyping/ talking on the phone. Over the next few months we became very grateful for modern technology as we continued to get to know each other better. Most of our conversations were centered around our values and life goals.
At the end of November, Jill and her dad got to come to Nepal for a couple weeks. I had no idea what to expect, but I was excited and prayed that God would give clear direction during this time. By the end of the trip I felt the Lord directing me to ask Jill to officially begin a courtship relationship. She agreed and we continued getting to know one another. It would still be two months before I completed my two year term and would move back home to Arkansas.
Upon my arrival home (January 2014), I was met by the Duggar clan; this was my first time to meet Jill's family in person. Over the next few months, I enjoyed spending time getting to know Jill and her family better.