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Merry Christmas from the Dillards!

Merry Christmas from the Dillards!

Merry Christmas from the Dillards!

Even though this year has been a tough one, we pray you will feel God’s peace surround you and his hope fill you as we focus on the blessings he has given us, including the birth of Jesus Christ our Savior many years ago!

Here’s a little recap and update on our family!

After returning home to Arkansas from the mission field in Central America for the birth of Samuel (about 3 years ago), Derick worked with our home church for a year in the Cross Church School of Ministry program while we continued to pursue our longterm goal of full-time international mission work. While in the program, we were excited to primarily work with international students and their families in outreach opportunities at the University of Arkansas Fayetteville (UofA). Our immediate plans for longterm missions outside the US were halted when we were made aware of some things outside of our control that ultimately prevented us from serving with the organization we had prepared to work with. Although we were disappointed, we accepted God’s new direction for our family and made plans accordingly. 

Upon completion of the one-year ministry program with our church, Derick began law school at the UofA. He currently has one more semester left before graduation with his Juris Doctor degree in May 2021! He has thoroughly enjoyed his experiences so far with clerkship jobs, a fellowship, and externships in several federal, state and county offices. As an attorney, he plans to work in some form of public service law and is also interested in judicial clerkship opportunities. He was excited to attain Rule XV certification earlier this year which has allowed him to represent clients under supervision in the UofA’s criminal law clinic.

Jill stays busy these days with blogging, content creation and management of our social media accounts while pre-schooling Samuel at home and keeping things running on the home front. In May 2019, we moved into our first home and have enjoyed settling down a little + all the fun that comes with being homeowners for the first time, including decorating and hosting guests, although this year that’s slowed down a bit due to the coronavirus.

Israel (5) is enjoying kindergarten this year and has loved making new friends at school. We’ve been grateful that his school has taken measures to keep everyone healthy and he’s been able to continue in-person classes so far. His favorites are P.E. & math (like his daddy;-) ). He is becoming a great little reader and loves reading books to us in the evening! Israel’s favorite foods are pepperoni pizza and cinnamon toast.

Samuel (3) is enjoying preschool at home with mommy. He loves to tell everyone his sight words when he sees them in books big brother is reading. He also loves playing alphabet go fish and UNO. Sam’s favorite foods are tacos, cheese pizza and macaroni & cheese. 

Although this year has been somewhat unpredictable and brought with it some extra stress, we pray you find hope and peace this season through Jesus Christ, the Prince of Peace!

Love and Best Wishes, 

Derick,  Jill, Israel & Samuel Dillard

“…I came that they may have life and have it abundantly.” John 10:10

Keep up with us on our social media accounts here:

Facebook: The Dillard Family Instagram: @jillmdillard @derickmdillard Twitter: @derickmdillard @jillmdillard

YouTube: Dillard Family Official

Derick & Jill Dillard P.O. Box 163 Cave Springs, AR 72718

The photos above are considered the property of the Dillard Family and may only be used with their written permission. Please request permission to use the photos.


  1. Marijke

    I just watched two christmas-eve–services Here in Europe it’s almost the 25th This is a really special Christmas, watching church at Youtube instead of being there in person… In my country all churches are closed… but I’m so glad with all the online possibilities!
    Have a very blessed Christmas!!

  2. Aliza

    Hi Dillard family! Merry Christmas! I have loved following you guys from the start and love hearing more and more of your story! I admire and am impressed by your growth and openness and the communication you have in your marriage to talk out how you want to “do” your family. So many marriages don’t have that kind of communication. Anyway, I am a religious Jew, so I can relate a lot with trying to navigate a holy and biblical God centered life while still live actively in a diverse world. There are somethings about Christianity that I have questions about. Maybe you can answer on your next q&a. You two have had missionary trips and I know this, and evangelizing, is important for Christians, but what does this mean in a practical sense for someone who isn’t familiar with it? Do you try to convert anyone and everyone? How do you approach and engage those who are already committed to their own faith, such as me as a Jew? I am wondering basic mechanics of ministry and missionary work I guess, as I am totally unfamiliar! Also, how do you teach your kids about other religions and cultures and generally differences in living, especially now since Israel is in public school? I really appreciated the tidbits you shared in your latest video about approaching Santa, and reminding the kids not to “ruin it” for those other kids who believe. This is something we have to navigate as Jews as well! Thanks for the Hanukkah shout out and I hope your holiday is great! All the blessings for 2021! <3

  3. Aliza again

    PS- I just want to share- one of the reasons I am so drawn to and inspired by you guys is because I have my own faith journey. I grew up in a very secular non religious home and became more and more religious through the years through deliberate and thoughtful choices. For one thing, I have chosen to only wear skirts now and my family thinks I’m nuts! Lol! How ironic! But this experience of mine means I appreciate and am drawn to folks who don’t take *only* their upbringing as truth and arbiter. Folks who ask questions and think thoughtfully through each step of their lives and what they will take with them from their origins, and what they will leave, and what new things they will pave the way for. Also, it’s noteworthy the balance you two demonstrate, which I aim for as well. Too often, people who question being raised in a religious home run away from religious- and moral- life full speed and swing 180 carelessly- or often, I’ve at least seen in orthodox Jewish communities, someone will go from 0-100, nothing to everything full force, strict life, while disdaining and often cutting off family and friends who aren’t as religious as they’ve become. It doesn’t have to be so extreme!! And you have shown great maturity and boundaries in your growth. With good insight that just because you are doing things differently, doesn’t mean that you must be totally rebellious or that the alternative is awful. I am glad to see you are still guided by your internal faith and values and are constantly reassessing and keeping that in check. It’s way easier to be extreme: extremely religious or extremely secular, and negating everything else. But the hard work and focus to balance is so worth it and is so commendable! Kudos!

  4. Brenda Guise

    I’m glad your family is doing well. I wish you both blessings and happiness in the new year. It seems I know you as I have watched you grow up and am so glad to be able to continue keeping up with you and your precious family. I’m sad to never see you on Counting on. What has happened there. I hope it is just in front of the camera and that you still have a relationship with your parents. I am 62 years old with 5 adult children so I understand life. I guess I’m just curious as to why you’re never in photos. God Bless you Jill and you precious family. Brenda from Texas

  5. Aliza

    Hi again Dillard family! I wrote two comments last week with a question for your next q&a but it wasn’t posted. I am worried you think I might have been trolling. Rest assured I am a big fan of you guys and I meant no ill intentions! I am sorry if there was anything offensive or crossed any lines. I stated we had differences, but also a lot of similarities, and was curious to learn more and have answers to some questions I’ve long had. Please let me know what was inappropriate so I can be more careful. My email is below, and the same I used last week. Again, I meant no offense! Just wanted to humbly learn more best to you two and the boys in 2021!


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