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 that just dissemenating information can be helpful, but when this information is accompanied by modeling and imitation it can become transformational and life-changing.
By helping individuals to both live and lead like Jesus did and become successful business entrepreneurs, we believe there is potential to not only change families but communities and countries as well.
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.
On this trip, it was made clear that God was going to begin the next "big adventure" for these individuals and now many others that have joined them in this adventure. 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 a full campus has been built that continues 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.
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 2-year wholistic discipleship program where young adults (many of them coming out of orphanages) live on our campus 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. As part of the program, individuals must work in one of the organizations "sustainablility" organizations. This provides not just the training grounds, but also the full, long-term self-sustainability for Empowered International as a whole. Oue training program equips and empowers young adults to develop/run like-minded businesses throughout their country. Our first class of 8 students arrived on campus in September 2019, and since that first class we have now graduated 3 "classes"
Our Cap Haitien location is now fully run by Haitians that have been trained through our program. We are also working on adding a new location in Pierre Payan, Haiti. Also, we are in process of starting our first location in the United States in an under-resourced area in Fort Wayne, Indiana!