Derick and Jill Dillard say they're still in Central America, ask for prayers for their 'physical safety and spiritual protection'

(Instagram/jillmdillard)Jill and Derick Dillard together with their baby boy Israel David in Central America.

Derick and Jill Dillard are denying allegations that they have returned to their home in Arkansas and abandoned their Christian ministry in Central America because of fear of the raging Zika virus.

The couple say they are still in Central America and were recently visited by parents Jim Bob and Michelle Duggar from "19 Kids and Counting."

In the latest blog post shared by Derick, he writes that they have been busy providing both physical humanitarian aid and filling people's lives in Central America with "the spiritual need of the Gospel of Jesus Christ for eternal salvation."

"For the past month, we have come alongside the S.O.S. (Seekers of Souls) leadership of the existing church where we are serving, as well as begun the groundwork for an additional bible-centered fellowship in another village that has been plagued with violence," shares Derick.

"Jill's parents surprised us recently with an impromptu visit for a few days. It was great to have them with us and get to show them the work the Lord is doing here," he adds.

Derick also says that the wildlife in Central America is quite different than the one they are used to back home. "We weren't used to seeing scorpions, tarantulas and cougars back home but we've seen them all and the first two multiple times! Jill opened her makeup bag to find a tarantula on top of her toothbrush," he says.

It is also normal there for snakes, wild cats, and cougars to prey on people's chickens, and the more Derick hears about animal encounters from his neighbours, the more he is alarmed.

"Two of our friends have attested to seeing giant snakes in their yards and one of them described the snake in her backyard as about 25 feet long in the act of killing a chicken. She said it took six guys with machetes to kill that snake," he says. "Please keep praying for physical safety as well as spiritual protection!"

Lifestyle