“I care for individuals I’m seeing in immediate need. I care intensely about individuals in need who are directionless.”

-Luke McAllister

Speech at Camarillo Church of Christ

April 2015

The Story

When Luke began handing out packets filled with essential items to people in need on the street, the idea caught on with his entire church congregation. He was asked to develop his idea into a church ministry of which he would be the leader. Luke was ready to take on the challenge, but he felt that he needed to give a speech to the church to introduce it. This was no easy task since Luke is a young man with autism who is mostly non-verbal. However, through his ability to spell out his thoughts, he carefully wrote his speech and then delivered it one Sunday through an app on his iPad. The entire congregation was thrilled and ready to participate.

Read the Christian Chronicle article featuring Luke and his ministry.

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“Scripture is reminding me I have a lot to give.”

-Luke McAllister, April 2015

The Idea

Luke and the youth group put together packets every month (see instructions below). Each Sunday, tubs of packets are set out in our church lobby for members to take and pass out to needy people they see asking for help during the week.

Funded through the church benevolence committee (and some donations), the church orders packet supplies in bulk. The supplies are stored on office shelves, ready to be assembled by Luke and the youth group. The youth group forms their own assembly line to put together packets. Luke, who does many packets at home, has a tub with supplies organized in containers so he can easily move from left to right to assemble packets. Either way, this is a project in which individuals of most ability levels can participate.

 

The Results

Hundreds of packets have already been handed out in our area of Southern California, as well as in other states as members have traveled. Many of the local individuals in need have begun to recognize the packets, as they are helped by more than one member of the congregation. We have seen times when we didn’t have enough packets to go around and the individuals who received one would thoughtfully share items with their friends in need. The recipients of these packets have clearly been very appreciative of this effort.

The members of our congregation have not only handed out hundreds of packets, but they have been affected themselves as they embraced the heart of the ministry. People on the street who we once ignored or who were invisible to us, we are now eagerly approaching. In some circumstances, members are even able to strike up a conversation with these individuals, often through the story of Luke. Through this ministry, the love of God is spreading and we are all the better for it

This simple, powerful idea for sharing God's love has already spread to several other congregations. If you or your church are interested in beginning your own Packet Ministry, we've included details below to help you get started. We pray that the ministry will ultimately be used to glorify God.

“The Good Samaritan story in the book of Luke reminds everyone to stop and help.”

-Luke McAllister, April 2015

 

How It Works

We prepare two types of packets---Original, which contain water bottles, and Travel, which are designed to be lighter and easier for travel.

Original Packets: The original packets can be kept in members’ cars. When they see someone in need, they can pull over and hand them a packet through the window.

Travel Packets: Luke added travel packets when members requested something they could take on planes or carry in backpacks. This slightly smaller version (without the water bottle) is easier to carry when members travel and might still encounter someone in need.

(We remind members to always use reasonable caution when approaching any stranger.)

Luke chose the following items for the packets. All items are placed in a “slider" quart-sized baggie.

Original:

Nutella To Go

Granola bar

Small water bottle

Travel-size tissue

Two dollar bills

Note (see sample)

Travel:

Belvita crackers

Packet of gum

Hand sanitizer

Travel-size tissue

Two dollar bills

Note (see sample)

 

The note says:

This packet was prepared by Luke---a young man with autism---and other members of the Church of Christ. A local church may be able to assist you more.

“Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous hand.” (Isaiah 41:10)

“Give thanks to the God of heaven, for his steadfast love endures forever.” (Psalm 126:26)

Contact Us

Please contact us at the Camarillo Church of Christ with questions, or send a message to Luke if your congregation begins a similar ministry. We would love to hear from you.

 

admin@camarillochurchofchrist.com

(805) 482-3505

515 Temple Avenue, Camarillo, CA 93010

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