HONG KONG- A Christian businessman and pastor has founded an airline with an vision to create a business mission by putting faith into actions and serving all kinds of people in all nations.
Rev. Raymond Lee, chief executive officer of the Oasis Hong Kong, has formally launched the airline on the first ever press conference Monday. Oasis Hong Kong offers very affordable long-haul flight ticket traveling between Hong Kong and other major cities in the world. The first Oasis flight is scheduled to set off on Oct. 25 from Hong Kong to London Gatwick Airport, and will fly every Thursday. Starting from November, there will be one flight everyday. Later, flight to Oakland in California, Chicago, Berlin and Milan will be launched.
Before becoming a part-time businessman, Rev. Lee was serving full-time in the Church. He is also very experienced in short-term missions. He started his ministry by serving as a volunteer in an ex-prisoner fellowship in Hong Kong. In 1982, he was sent to Calcutta, India, and closely served the poor and weak. From 1988 to 1997, he worked with Cambodian refugees in Boston.
Through all these experiences, Lee deeply realized the huge gap between the rich and the poor in this world. He said that those who are rich should give out more in order to be truly blessed for Jesus says "It is more blessed to give than to receive." He also believes that the power of Christ Jesus does not just stop on giving people what they need, but opening them the way to live a life.
Lee has finally come to the idea of starting "Business Mission" which he considers a strategic way to reach out to the society. He explained, "We need people to reach out so that everyone can be blessed by the Gospel. If we do relief work, human resources and financial resources are very crucial. We also need to be wise and effective in supporting Christian ministries, for example, organizing leadership training for young people and Christian businessmen." Oasis Airline may therefore be a very good channel to fulfill these motives.
"In the 21st century, the most influential group is the social organizations," Lee suggested. "Enterprises touch all levels of our lives; they can have either good or bad effects on us. Thus, God raised up enterprises to advance the work of Gospel. In the U.S., there is a Christian CEO forum, 160 Christian CEOs who earn over 100 millions per year, share their testimonies. I want to set up such forum in Asia."
Christian business mission is expected to open a new way to some restricted regions where it is hard to preach the Gospel directly, such as the Communist or Islamic country. Businessmen are usually very welcomed everywhere because they can help the poor.
Making business may not only benefit the Christian ministry, but it also contributes to the society in many possible aspects, ranging from economy to education. Lee has cited some examples, saying that if cheap flight tickets can be offered to Europe and the United States, more investors and tourists will be attracted to come to the city for traveling, international conference and business, and will bring many new opportunities.
Currently, the one-way flight ticket from Hong Kong to London Gatwick offered by Oasis Airline just costs around $1000 HKD. For further details, please visit the website: http://www. oasishongkong.com.
[Editor's Note: Joanna Wong contributed reporting from Hong Kong for this article.]