690) The Drop Box

Pastor Lee and Baby

Mostly from John Stonestreet’s blog, February 10, 2015 at:  http://www.breakpoint.org

     In Seoul, the capital of South Korea, hundreds of infants are abandoned on the streets every year.  The problem became so severe that one Korean pastor decided to take unprecedented action.

     It’s a story that’s now the subject of an award-winning documentary by film maker Brian Ivie.  Stirred several years ago by a report in the Los Angeles Times about Pastor Lee Jong-rak’s unique solution to infant abandonment, Ivie (then a film student at the University of Southern California) raised enough money to lead a team to Seoul to capture this tiny but inspirational ministry.

     Pastor Lee Jong-rak calls it his “Drop Box.”  The concept is simple.  Instead of aborting or abandoning their infants, mothers who either can’t keep or don’t want their babies bring them to the wooden box affixed to Pastor Lee’s house; they say goodbye, and they shut the door.  The box, which is equipped with lights and heat, has a sign in Korean, “Please don’t throw away unwanted or disabled babies, or babies of single mothers.  Please bring them here instead.”

     When the box opens a bell rings, and Pastor Lee, his wife, or a volunteer, comes and takes the child inside.  Since Pastor Lee installed the Drop Box in 2009, as many as 18 babies a month have arrived at his home, which doubles as an orphanage.  He and his wife have even adopted ten as their own—that’s the maximum number local authorities will allow.

     Sometimes he speaks to mothers face-to-face.  One told him she intended to poison herself and her newborn before hearing about the Drop Box.  Another simply left a note, which read:

My baby!  Mom is so sorry.  I am so sorry to make this decision…  I hope you meet great parents…  Mom loves you more than anything else.  I leave you here because I don’t know who your father is.  I used to think about something bad, but I guess this box is safer for you…  Please forgive me.

     Brian Ivie’s movie, aptly entitled The Drop Box, has already won awards at the Jubilee and Independent Christian Film festivals.  And now, Focus on the Family, Pine Creek Entertainment, Kindred Image and Fathom Events will present the movie in selected cinemas for three nights only, March 3-5.

     The Drop Box is the kind of story that changes lives.  Forever.  Just ask Brian Ivie.  When accepting one of the awards for the film, he said:

I became a Christian while making this movie.  When I started to make it and I saw all these kids come through the drop box; it was like a flash from heaven– just like these kids with disabilities had crooked bodies, I have a crooked soul.  And God loves me still.

     The fight for life is more than just political.  In so many ways, it’s decided in the cultural imagination.  And that’s why it’s critical that Christians support films like this:  high-quality films that don’t preach, but show how precious life truly is, and how otherwise ordinary individuals will go to extraordinary lengths to save and protect the most vulnerable among us.

     You can watch the three minute movie trailer at the below web-page, along with more information about Pastor Lee, and where to see the move.  Even the trailer is tremendous–  do take the three minutes to view it.



Pastor Lee's Son Smiling
As a journalist I’ve been telling people’s stories for some 40 years, and Pastor Lee’s is one of the most inspiring I’ve encountered.  Without fanfare, one ordinary man in a poor neighborhood of Seoul, Korea, has now saved almost 600 babies from certain death.  He embodies the grace that I write about.
–Author Philip Yancey
When the church reaches out to rescue and embrace the weakest and most vulnerable in society, it can’t help but push culture in a better, wiser direction.  The story of Pastor Lee and his love for ‘discarded’ children – especially children with disabilities – displays the power and influence of true Christian character.  
–Joni Eareckson Tada
Matthew  25:40  —  (Jesus said),  “Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.”
Matthew 10:42  —  (Jesus said),  “If anyone gives even a cup of cold water to one of these little ones who is my disciple, truly I tell you, that person will certainly not lose their reward.”
Psalm 139:13  —  For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb.
James 1:27  —  Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world.
 Blessed Lord, who for our sake was content to bear sorrow, and want, and death; grant to us such a measure of your Spirit that we may follow you in all self-denial and tenderness of soul.  Help us, by your great love, to support the afflicted, to relieve the needy and destitute, to comfort the feeble-minded, to share the burdens of the heavy laden, and always to see you in all who are poor and destitute.  Amen.
–B. F. Westcott, British Bishop  (1825-1901)