The criticism came after it was noted that Jill, 24, and Derick, 26, have flown back to the States at least twice since they left. The couple attended their cousin Amy Duggar's wedding in Bentonville, Arkansas last weekend, as well as the wedding of Bringing Up Bates stars Michaela Bates and Brandon Keilen on Aug. 15 in Knoxville, Tennessee.
"So what exactly are you doing to help people in El Salvador? Your donors would like a detailed statement of what their money is being used for," one Facebook comment reads. "As far as I can see, all you guys are doing is going to Spanish class and making fun of the locals. Oh, I forgot. You also did that stupid interpretive dance thing. Have you done anything worthwhile to actually help people, or are you just there to convert Catholics?"
"Jill, how did you spend my donation for your mission trip?" another user asks. "Where are the pictures of the hospital, schools and bible studies you helped with? Can you post them so I can show everyone why I donated to your cause?"
Perhaps in response to the growing criticism, Jill posted a Throwback Thursday picture on Instagram today of a group of people she's met during the mission. "My heart aches for the hardships these people are facing daily due to pressure and violence from the gangs. Please pray for their safety!" she wrote. "We look forward to returning there to continue ministering after language school!"
Derick also updated their family blog on Thursday, calling their time back in the U.S. a "planned, month long trip to take care of some things."
"Jill, Israel, and I recently arrived back in the States for a planned, month long trip to take care of some things and enjoy time with family and friends while we're here, before heading back to Central America," he explained.
In an Aug. 31 post, Jill also explained that they attended the Bates wedding only because the date coincided with their planned trip to the U.S. to participate in the TLC documentary on sex abuse.
"When we were first invited to our friend, Michaella Bates', wedding we didn't think we were going to be able to make it. But once we realized that we needed to make a trip back to the States to do some filming for the upcoming TLC documentary, we were thrilled that the dates coincided with that of the wedding!" Jill wrote. "We were able to make the stop in Tennessee on our way back here to Central America!"
"Israel seems to be adjusting to the new climate, culture, food (via mom's milk), and language faster than Jill and I are," Derick wrote. "Everywhere we go, people hear about and want to see and hold the, 'big blue-eyed, white baby' LOL. Israel is definitely growing and developing fast."