The historic Abraham Accords, which former Secretary of State John Kerry said publicly would be impossible, have revealed the unconventional foreign policy of the Trump administration. They rely on a little-known phenomenon that has been key to the world order since 1945.
Most people are familiar with the term "The Greatest Generation," made popular by Tom Brokaw in his book of the same title. The Greatest Generation is the generation that fought World War II and rebuilt America, having suffered part or all of the Great Depression, but there is a little-known, but even more profound corollary: "The Grateful Generation." And one of the reasons for much of the nontraditional success of the present administration comes from tapping into that Grateful Generation.
My parents, including my sweet father, who recently died, were from the Greatest Generation. Following the end of World War II, General Douglas MacArthur put out a call for 10,000 young men and women to help rebuild postwar Japan as missionaries. My precious parents came to Japan separately, met in Japan, married in Japan and had their family as they served the country for over 120 years combined.
From the time we were children growing up in Japan, we were struck by a phenomenon that seemed to happen almost daily, where suddenly someone would stop, bow deeply and say over and over, "Arigato," or "Thank you" in Japanese. On those occasions, we would receive a sudden and awkward hug, handshake or pat on the head. And multiple times, after giving a public speech, I have had someone come over afterward to say, "Your father came to my village when I was a little boy."
Throughout the world, particularly in the Middle East where American missionaries built most of the hospitals, schools, facilities to help the elderly and needy and so much more, there was and still is the other side of the Greatest Generation: the Grateful Generation, who to this day are grateful for the love and kindness of those who ministered to them so many years ago in Jesus' name.
These are the people scattered throughout the world who were on the receiving end of the Greatest Generation as they loved and cared for the world in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ. The Grateful Generation includes those who were touched by the ways America loved them. They went to missionary schools; their family was fed and clothed by America, it was an American missionary who took them in and cared when nobody else did. And that amazing army of 140,000 American missionaries continues to love the world in Jesus' powerful name.
The most important reason for the success of the recent peace agreements is not the United Nations, the European Union or the World Bank, but the hidden group of people who fell in love with America's brightest—the unsung hundreds of thousands of young men and women who quietly, without fanfare, loved and continue to love the world. And that love never left.
Today, there are approximately 140,000 America missionaries who wake up every morning to educate, treat, minister to and love people throughout the world, and another 170,000 brave American military who also wake up every morning throughout the world to protect American interests worldwide, keep the world from complete chaos and allow the 140,000 to minister.
"Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit" (Matt. 28:19).
As Alexis de Tocqueville wrote in 1835, "America is great because she is good. If she ever ceases to be good, she will no longer be great." This great army of American missionaries who, decades ago, loved a little child who is now a president or prime minister or foreign minister, stand behind the unprecedented success of the most recent peace efforts as a wise, nontraditional administration for the first time taps into the power of this mighty army.
As bestselling author of God, Trump and COVID-19 Stephen Strang reminds us, "about 59.8 million professing Christians are not registered to vote." If they fail to do so in just 46 days, this unprecedented movement that has transformed the world for the Lord Jesus Christ will come to an end.
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