Missions Encounter Follow-Up:

What In The World Am I Doing?

I feel like I’m in a very awkward position. While I’m not a “Missionary” by any means, I still have to raise my own support like a missionary. And there are a lot of questions and a general confusion about what I’m doing. So I’d love to explain it so that hopefully it makes sense and you’ll see the value in what God is calling me to do. And I also have some very important thank yous to give out. 

Here’s the easy version without reading everything below:

1. October 2016: Go to Honduras and film video updates/promo videos produced by people like you. That same month, I realize I have the name Empowering Hope for the ministry Lauren wants to start. And God begins stirring something inside us.

2. December 2016: Phone call from Foundation for Missions to film all their missionaries.
           -Sidebar: I have to raise all my support. I do not get paid.

3. December-May: Scared out of my wits to raise my own support.

4. June 2017: Lauren and I launch Empowering Hope, partnered through Foundation for Missions. Our first phase is focused on being a voice for missionaries. Empowering Hope is our ministry name and we strive to bridge the gap between missionaries, churches, and ministries, and connect them in a relational way.

5. December 2017: Began planning the first trip to Guatemala & Honduras.

6. Purpose of trip: Film daily video updates and Promo Videos for missionaries. Help them Increase Connection, Raise Awareness to their ministries, and Raise Support.
         -People Who Donate
             1. Up to $49 become marketing specialist (we ask you to share one post)
             2. Up to $99 become a Producer of the video update.
             3. Over $100 become an Executive Producer.
             4. If you have other gifts like writing music, graphic design, etc, click here to see how you can                     help.
             5. Have a business or church? Become a sponsor and we’ll give you ads in our videos.
             6. Everyone gets an official certificate that they produced videos for missionaries and you can put this on your resume.

7. February 2018: First Empowering Hope fundraising event: Missions Encounter – A Night of Fundraising & Connection
        1. Raised enough to go to Guatemala and Honduras with certainty.
        2. Encouraged people to connect with missionaries relationally.

Here’s the full story:

October 2016

I went to Honduras and filmed my friend Clay. I produced a bunch of daily video updates that showed what his day-to-day life is like and helped people connect with his ministry. These videos are produced by people like you who donate to the trip. Then I also filmed promo videos for Clay to use on social media and in churches to increase awareness to what God is doing in his ministry and help him raise support.

Bottom line: You and I partner together to be a voice for missionaries in a unique way that helps them connect with people, raise awareness to the ministry God is doing through them, and raise support through powerful video testimonies.

December 2016

A couple months after I came back, I was called by Steve Beam, the founder of Clay’s missions organization, the Foundation for Missions. In our conversation, Steve said that he sees the power and need for video in the mission field and wanted me to do what I did for Clay for all of his missionaries all over the world. However, because it’s a missions organization, I would have to raise my own support like a missionary.

December – May / June 2017

From about December to May, I only told a handful of people I was considering this. I was scared. I don’t like to raise support. It’s not my strength. But in June, I decided I would take a leap of faith and go public with it. Lauren and I launched Empowering Hope, which seeks to connect people relationally and bridge the gap between missionaries, churches, and ministries (You can learn more about us here). Though, with all the support via Facebook likes, no one was willing to consider being a monthly donor so that I could make this a full-time job. I knew that I had to go on a trip to show everyone, but unfortunately the first people I needed to go to wouldn’t have me until now.

I would love for this to get to a place where I have monthly donors via sponsors. These can be businesses, churches, ministries, etc. that would like to sponsor episodes and essentially get to advertise their business with us for these video updates. And I currently have a handful of sponsors for this trip and I’m looking for more!

So next Sunday, March 4th I leave for Guatemala and I will be there until March 9th. On March 10th I will head to Honduras and I will be there until March 19th. During that time I will be filming at least 10 missionaries who are working hard each day to provide homes for abused girls, build homes for the poor, train indigenous pastors, and a lot more!

I do not get paid by anyone! As mentioned above, I have to raise all my support. The missionaries do not pay a dime for these videos. The Foundation For Missions does not pay me a penny for these trips. Which is an amazing thing because that means YOU get to partner with God and bless these missionaries. This gives you the opportunity sow into the various missionaries and it helps them out in a special way.

December – February 2018 Missions Encounter: A Night of Fundraising & Connection

So after all my fears of raising my own support and a looming trip, Lauren and I decided to plan our first fundraiser: Missions Encounter – A Night of Fundraising And Connection. The goal of the fundraiser was just that: raise enough support to go to Guatemala and Honduras and be a voice for those missionaries. But that wasn’t enough for me. I didn’t want people to just come and throw money in a Justin Boothby Donation bucket. And since I tend to “go big or go home” I decided to create a way for people to get to know the missionaries. I wanted people to connect with a missionary family and encourage them once a week or once a month and find new ways to love them where they’re at. They’re just regular people like you and I who still need to be encouraged to fulfill God’s call on their lives.

So we had boards with some important and fun information about who the missionaries are. We had free food and a silent auction. We had an event for all the young kids to paint with a fine artist. We had a Guatemalan guest speaker. We played trivia and gave away some silly prizes. We had a Facebook live stream for the missionaries to watch and for everyone encourage them. Everyone got Chick-fil-a sandwich cards.


The main reason for the event, donations, I totally dropped the ball on. I was focused so much on all those other things that I didn’t have time to set up the donation area the way it needed to be set up. So when it came time to donate no one knew who to write checks to or what to do with the silent auction wins. I’d love to sit here and tell you that didn’t phase me, but I felt like an idiot. The one thing I should have done with excellence and I just totally dropped the ball.


In spite of dropping the ball in that area, I was still able to hit my fundraising goal and then some! Of course, I’m still accepting donations. It’s always good to have extra money in case something were to happen, God forbid it. And with the extra money I have, it will go towards helping more missionaries. You can donate here.


About Justin Boothby


Justin is a lifelong student who loves to travel, film, write, design websites, and life coach. Most importantly he loves to Pastor in all different kinds of ministry settings. He’s also an avid pizza lover, metalcore listener, and shot glass collector.


My Wife: who not only listens to my crazy ideas but encourages me when she knows they’re from the Lord. She also works her butt off each day and I’m so thankful that she is willing to be on my team 🙂

Shannon & Dave: Not only did you guys get the youth group to come out and help, you did all the dishes for us! You all are absolutely phenomenal and I’m so thankful for your help!

Eric & Amy: You guys came through in a huge way. Especially helping out with signing people in and running the powerpoint, and making a last minute aldi run for us! Thank you so so much!

Hannah & Kaylynn: Thank you girls so much for putting together the thank you bags, helping with the kids paint, and all the extra work you did!

Stacy & Jenna: It was as if God brought you in at the perfect time. Lauren needed you more than ever and you guys came through. And Stacy, thank you for helping out with the childcare! You have been amazing!

Heather & Craig: I’m sorry you guys didn’t have more babies, but I am more thankful than you know that you volunteered your time to make sure everyone was taken care of.

Mike & Elisha: Thank you so much for coming up with fun sayings for the silly prize giveaways and helping with the kids! Couldn’t have done it without you!

Emma: You helped so much!!! And your cake and cake pops were the hot ticket item of the night! I hope you know how incredibly talented you are and I hope there are more people who are willing to bring you business!

Pastor Ed: Thank you so much for letting us use the room for the event and for supporting us. You have done so much for Lauren and I since we got to the church, and we cannot thank you enough!

April: You were the big hit of the night! The kids and the parents loved what you did with the kids. You came through in a HUGE way and I hope you know how much I appreciate you. Please also let your assistant know she is incredibly appreciated!

Amilcar: Your message is always very timely and I appreciate what you spoke to us last night. We all need to have a bigger passion for missions and you made sure to light that fire for us!

And Huge Thank You To Our Sponsors:

Missions Encounter:
El Campesino – Monroeville
Chick-Fil-A – Miracle Mile Monroeville

For Daily Video Updates:
Deb’s Threads
Dawn Close with F.R.E.E.
Reckless Church, Birmingham, Alabama
Art by April Ryan & Inner Artist Studio