Rather than heading straight to college after graduating from high school, Blake Stiles Lawson did something that changed his life forever. He delayed college for one year and enrolled in Youth With A Mission’s (YWAM) Discipleship Training School and, after, their School of Evangelism. This included being a short term missionary to Costa Rica. He then attended Westmont College in Santa Barbara, CA where he graduated with a degree in Communications. During his college years he was a cast member of “Saved by the Bell – The New Class” on NBC.
Blake continues to be a man on a mission – or more correctly stated - a mission that created www.missionaryairfaresearch.com for international travelers. In a very short time, it has become one of the most respected and valued web sites for Christian individuals and ministries in the United States. His clients are a veritable “whose who” of the nation’s best known Christian ministries, evangelical churches, and Christian mission sending organizations. The website draws from an airline’s live inventory meaning that one never has to continue to search for availability once the fare is displayed. In doing so, he has established an enviable success of his family’s 25 year old travel company and a classic example of new and innovating ideas replacing old ways of doing business.
“There are about a dozen travel companies in the United States that have an excellent and well deserved reputation for coordinating Christian Travel,” Blake shares. “However, by the year 2005, none of them had a website that allowed their clients to check their firm’s consolidator and wholesale international fares on the internet. By creating the website we were able to offer the Christian community something they never had seen before; that is, an ability to find the lowest international fare, regardless of an airline, within 30 seconds. Our data base searches over 60 major airlines and some 6 million international fares from an airlines live inventory. Our prices are extremely competitive and backed by a 25 year old brick and mortar agency that provides personalized service to the 30 percent that don’t care to book directly on-line. We, also, represent unpublished missionary fares that the airlines do not allow us to publicly display.”
At age 32, Blake is the youngest member of the “Chancellor’s Council For The Future” of the University of the Nations in Kailua-Kona, Hawaii. Once or twice a year he meets with 36 others from across the United States to provide oversight in areas of academics, community life, staff development, communications, and resources for the worldwide ministry of YWAM’s 35,000 missionaries and students on 630 campuses in 135 nations.
I know several people who, like me, have entered their family business and thrived in the environment,” he shared. “As the travel agency business was changing because of the airline’s no longer paying commissions and people’s desire to surf the internet, I told my parents not to fear the internet – but rather – to embrace it. As many business, we had to change with the times. It’s wonderful to have a career that so dovetails my personal convictions.”