This Focus on the Family documentary was shown in selected U.S. theatres March 3-5 (and in Canada March 4, 5 and 9). The theatre was packed for the showing we attended. Hopefully this moving film will be available via video or streaming outlets soon so more will be able to see it.
The film tells about the incredible ministry to abandoned children of Pastor Lee Jong-rak of Jusarang (God’s Love) Community Church in Seoul, South Korea and his wife Chun-ja. The couple’s second child Eun-man (now 26), was born with severe disabilities. He spent the first 14 years of his life in the hospital as his parents and hospital staff cared for him. Pastor Lee and Chun-ja sold their home to pay for Eun-man’s medical expenses.
The word spread about the compassion of Pastor Lee and his wife. As a result, mothers who couldn’t, or didn’t want to, care for their children began abandoning their children at the doorway of the church. Many more babies were just left in the street, many of whom died before they were found. Thus the “baby box” was created.
Mothers who are unable or unwilling to care for their babies can leave their babies in the baby box, which is like a heated cupboard. When the door to the box is shut, a bell rings to alert Pastor Lee. Pastor Lee stays up most nights to listen for the bell. After praying for the child, Pastor Lee gets the baby to a hospital and then the child is taken to an orphanage or adoption agency.
Many of the children who are placed in the baby box (there had been 354 children as of the time of the filming), are disabled, and the lack of any records on the child make things (hospital visits, adoption, etc.) challenging. In addition, Pastor Lee’s tireless work has had a detrimental effect on his health. But there is no doubt that Pastor Lee and his wife daily live out James 1:27:
Religion that is pure and undefiled before God, the Father, is this: to visit orphans and widows in their affliction, and to keep oneself unstained from the world.
Pastor Lee points to Psalm 27:10 as his motivation for his work: For my father and my mother have forsaken me, but the LORD will take me in.
The film introduces us to the touching stories of several (15 now live in the small home) of the children that Pastor Lee, his wife and small staff have lovingly cared for and raised. It is a wonderful story of sacrificial love and the sanctity of life.
The film, which includes subtitles, ends with a “Question and Answer” session that includes the film’s director Brian Ivie (who became a Christian while making the film), and Steven Curtis and Mary Beth Chapman, taking about their Show Hope ministry.
Around the world, there are more than 150 million orphans waiting to be adopted. Joni Eareckson Tada, who I respect greatly, says this about the film: “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. And The Drop Box is a remarkable film that shows Christian leaders and congregations how it’s done. The story of Pastor Lee and his love for “discarded” children – especially children with disabilities – displays the power and influence of true Christian character.”
To find out more about Pastor Lee and his ministry, and to donate if you feel led to, go to www.thedropboxfilm.com