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Winning Them with Kindness

One woman's simple mission to transform her world.

Re'na Garcia is a 29-year-old wife and mother. She leads a busy life with parenting and being involved with her church, but her favorite part of the day is when she goes out to RAOK her world—as in performing "Random Acts of Kindness."

"God puts people in our lives everyday for us to touch," Garcia says. "So many times we're too busy and we miss those opportunities."

Garcia believes that RAOK—doing something nice for other people with no expectation of anything in return—is simply living out the compassionate and unselfish attitude that Jesus expects of his followers.

"People were drawn to Christ not because he stood on a mountain and preached, but because he filled their needs," Garcia says. "He fed them. He healed them. He touched lives." People may be more open to hearing about the gospel as they see us modeling Christ's behavior, Garcia says.

She and her husband, Aaron, are part of a growing network of Christians who exchange RAOK ideas with each other. Their list of potential RAOK ideas includes leaving a huge tip at a restaurant, paying for someone else's gas at a convenience store, leaving a roll of quarters at a self-service laundry, or mowing a neighbor's yard.

Part of the fun, Garcia says, is not sticking around for a thank you. For instance, when she pulls up to a fast-food drive-thru window, she asks how much the tab is for the car behind her—and she pays it, too. She asks the clerk to pass along a RAOK business card to the driver. The card contains an explanation for Garcia's motivation and information about her church. There are no strings attached.

She says part of her biblical inspiration comes from Matthew 6:1-3: "Be careful not to do your 'acts of righteousness' before men, to be seen by them … when you give to the needy, do not announce it with trumpets, as the hypocrites do. … Do not let your right hand know what your left hand is doing."

Says Garcia, "If someone is having a day in which his life is hanging in the balance, this could be his opportunity to realize what he's been missing. You never know how it might change a life if you buy someone dinner and they don't know who did it."

Read more articles that highlight writing by Christian women at ChristianityToday.com/Women

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