The vision of Empowered International is to create and inspire hope by empowering and equipping young adults through giving opportunity and developing long-lasting, sustainable change.
Humbly serving others with love and integrity. That is step one, but it does not stop there. We believe in a love that produces long-term sustainability. We do this by empowering and equipping others to create lasting hope.
We believe in creating opportunity by utilizing our business partnerships, and strategic mission relationships.
Our story begins in November 2014 on a flight from Montego Bay, Jamaica back to the United States. Scott and Stacy Jester had been praying through their next big adventure as a family when God impressed upon their hearts a city in Haiti called Cap Haitien. Neither had ever been to the city or knew much about it. They had spent quite a bit of time in the country of Haiti, but nowhere near that particular city. As they began to research and pray through what it was that God may have for them in this city, they continued to be drawn towards it. It wasn't until November of 2015 that Scott stepped foot for the first time in the city with Fabio Altime and Aaron Frey. (To hear the full story, check out these two links for a few teachings from Scott at his home church Grace Gathering - "Haiti" and "Follow Me")
On this trip, it was made clear that God was going to begin the next "big adventure" for Scott and Stacy and now many others that have joined them in this particular city. Fast forward to November 2016 and a new organization was formed called Empowered International, and prime land was purchased in a great location just outside of the city. On this land, we are currently building what is and what will continue to be an important hub for the empowerment of young adults throughout the country of Haiti. So, what is Empowered International? Check out this website to find out more, but here is a brief overview:
What we have found through personal experience is that historically much of the mission work in third world countries by Western cultures has involved:
*Short Term Mission Trips
*Orphanage Support (Mainly Financial)
*Church-Planting Support (Mainly Financial)
*Education Support (Mainly Financial)
Although all of these things are extremely important, in many cases this has created an environment where there is a constant reliance on the “Western World” to provide resources, and when these lines of resources “dry up”, so does the impact. This has also created an environment where the dream for many individuals in third world cultures is to someday move to the United States or another wealthy country in order to “escape” instead of believing that they can actually make a long-term sustainable impact in their country without the financial help of the Western world. (Fabio's Story)
Empowered International believes that we have a responsibility to inspire hope and opportunity through equipping and empowering young people to pursue sustainable change. This is accomplished through a 1-2 year discipleship program where young adults (many of them coming out of orphanages) live on our campus (initially in Cap Haitien) and learn what it looks like to step into their missional calling in their country along with learning business skills that will help provide for them and for their families. On the ministry side, it will look quite a lot like FORM Fort Wayne, and on the business side, it will initially entail a three-pronged focus: Empowered Bakery, Empowered Transportation (www.empoweredintl.com/go), and Empowered Tourism. This provides not just the training grounds, but also the full, long-term self-sustainability for Empowered International as a whole. As part of their time with Empowered International, the young adults will be responsible to work in one or more of these businesses as well as be a part of a training program that will equip and empower them to develop/run like-minded businesses throughout their country. Our first class of 8 students arrived on campus in September 2019 and graduate in June 2020.
Check out an overview video of EI below:
MEET OUR TEAM
Simply put, we are nothing without the hands, feet, and minds of Christ. We are blessed to have these entrepreneurial-minded disciple-makers.
Scott and his wife Stacy are both originally from Michigan and currently reside in Fort Wayne, IN. They have four boys: Logan, Collin, Evan, and Gavin. Along with helping to lead Empowered International, Scott has a real estate business (www.empoweredhometeam.com) and helps lead a church called Grace Gathering (www.gracegathering.com).
Aaron and his wife Kara are both originally from Ohio and currently reside in Fort Wayne, IN. They have four children: Anna, Ellie, Lyla, and Graham. Aaron is an optometrist and is currently the Clinical Director at Longe Optical. Aaron provides strategic leadership to Empowered International and is a part of the EI board of directors.
Wes and his wife Kim have two children, Josh and Caleb, and currently reside in Fort Wayne, IN. Wes is the President of JBC Companies, working with financial institutions throughout the United States. Wes provides strategic leadership to Empowered International and is a part of the EI board of directors.
Andrew and his wife Trish have three children and currently reside in Fort Wayne, IN. Andrew is Vice President of Marketing and Communications & MedPro Group. He provides strategic leadership to Empowered International and is a part of the EI board of directors.
Jeff and his wife Sharon have two children, Andrew (Angie) and Liz (Aaron), and their first grandchild on the way! Jeff is owner/operator at Chik-fil-A in Fort Wayne, Indiana. He provides strategic leadership to Empowered International and is a part of the EI board of directors.
Stephen and his wife Nicole are blessed with eight amazing children and currently reside in Auburn, IN. Stephen has years of experience in providing organizations in different contexts throughout the world both resources and tools that are essential in designing property and structures. He is invaluable to Empowered International providing strategic leadership and consulting.
Fabio & Micka Altime
Fabio and Micka have two children, Kevin and Newstalyne, and currently live in Fort Wayne, IN. They are both originally from the Port au Prince, Haiti area. Fabio is currently our Haiti Business Manager and travels to Haiti regularly.
Dan & Trish Lake
Dan and Trish have three children and currently reside in Fort Wayne, IN. The Lakes regularly spend time on site in Cap Haitien, and Trish is a part of the EI board of directors. Trish spent a good amount of her childhood in Haiti, and is fluent in Creole.