Lukas McAllister has participated in the Aut2Run every year since 2014, signing up to complete the 5K run and showing his support for the autism community in Ventura County. Luke also trained with the Train4Autism group for a couple of years, and participated in other community 5K runs as well. After starting to suffer with headaches and sinus pain, Luke’s running slowed to more of a walk, but it didn’t stop him from completing the Aut2Run event each year.
Lukas is no stranger to overcoming obstacles. Growing up as someone who was mostly non-speaking, it took a while for him to find a way to communicate his thoughts through typing. His typing has freed him to advocate for the type of life he wants. This has included attending college and working part-time. He wants to inspire others to not give up on their dreams, as he advocates for the rights of those with autism.
This led him to advocate for another segment of the population that is often overlooked - those who are needy or homeless. Four years ago he launched a ministry at the Camarillo Church of Christ to provide bags of essential items to those in need. Lukas would see the needy with their signs on street corners and in shopping centers, and he not only wanted to help, he wanted to bring them some hope. The real genius of his ministry is that he found a way to organize it so that the congregation would never run out of “packets”, as Luke called them. Funded through donations and the benevolence committee, the church buys supplies in bulk, stores them on shelves and reorders as needed. On a regular basis, certain church members assemble packets, then make them available to everyone in the congregation. Individuals carry packets in their cars or backpacks, always ready to help others. As soon as they run out of packets, there’s always more to pick up in the church lobby. The ministry has been going strong at Luke’s home congregation with at least a thousand packets handed out in just the first year. Then the idea began to spread to other churches in the area, including Thousand Oaks, Simi Valley, and Moorpark. Luke’s Packet Ministry was featured in The Christian Chronicle and also in Outreach Magazine, as well as being on exhibit at Pepperdine University’s Harbor Bible Lectures. Other congregations around the nation have also begun to use this idea to bring help to the needy in their community. Approaching people in this way allows members interactions that bless them as well - including helping them learn how to talk to people in need. Someone who can’t easily speak, has helped others learn to communicate with the needy.
Luke says, “I care intensely about individuals in need who are directionless. Scripture is reminding me I have a lot to give.” He takes his inspiration from the Good Samaritan story in the book of Luke. In this story, we are given the example of the Samaritan man who stopped to help. The verse, “Go and do likewise” from Luke 10:37 is the theme for Luke’s Packet Ministry. Details about this ministry can be found on the church website at camarillochurchofchrist.com.