The Drop Box is a documentary about the work of Pastor Lee Jong-Rak and his heroic efforts to embrace and protect his community’s most vulnerable childre. Hundreds of unwanted babies are abandoned on the streets of Seoul, South Korea, every year, forgotten by the surrounding culture. By installing a drop box outside his home, Pastor Lee provides a safe haven to babies who would otherwise be abandonned on the streets to die.
The documentary is a heart-wrenching exploration of the physical and emotional toll associated with providing refuge to save those deemed unwanted by society. The documentary is mostly subtitled in English as most of the talk is done in South Korean. But even with the fact that you need to translate in your mind while reading, you can’t miss the story and how it all started.
The documentary covers many aspects of the ministry like who is the pastor behind it and what is his story, the ministry that he offers, the kids and the volunteers, the routine that everyone go through on a daily basis and much more.
You will walk on the street of Seoul and see where the babies were abandoned on the streets before Pastor Lee decided to install a drop box. Most of the time the babies left in the drop box do not have any information about the mother or the day of birth. In South Korea, it is extremely difficult for a young woman to be pregnant out of wedlock. Highschool girls who are discovered loose their schooling opportunities. Consequently they often abandoned their babies. Even the adoption process is not an option since you have to give your citizenship number and they can easily find you. Besides going through the regular adoption process requires to go through seven administrative institutional steps just to deal with the abandoned child. Before the Drop Box was installed, many single girls would be suicidal because of what would happen to them. In 2013 alone, more than 204 babies were abandoned in Seoul. Orphans are not well viewed in South Korea.
Pastor Lee and his wife have raised a son who is a special need child. Now at the age of 26 years old, he still spend his days laying down. Their child has taught them Doing so prepared them to the task that the Drop Box requires of them. The youngest baby that came through the Drop Box was about 1 to 2 hours old. Still they took the child and care for her. So far, over 594 babies have came through the Drop Box as of 11/14. Pastor Lee and his wife have adopted some of them – some having special needs. One of these kids is a gentle heart 10 years old boy who doesn’t have all his fingers and toes but wishes to take over the ministry of his dad – Pastor Lee – when he is older. He even spend quite some time with his older brother who requires help 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year. Seeing him helping with these kids touched me heart and made me hope that my kids will also want to help others when they are older.
Throughout the documentary you will also have a visualized cartoonish story telling the story of what is being told as well as testimonies of the work done through the ministry. You will also learn about the issues that they have caring for the kids as well as the health problems that Pastor Lee has.
As I watched this with my oldest son, it was hard to hold my tears. Part of me wanted to fly to South Korean and adopt one or two of these kids. They are indeed precious in God’s sight. I know how a disabled child can be a blessing for a family because I have a special nephew who without even realizing it teach us to love anyone without restraint. It breaks my heart to hear about how these kids are being abandoned and I rejoice to see the many volunteers coming to help Pastor Lee and his wife to care for these children.
The documentary is a heart-wrenching exploration of the physical and emotional toll associated with providing refuge to save those deemed unwanted by society. It is also a story of hope and a celebration of the reality that every human life is sacred, has a purpose and is worthy of love.
This documentary was made by Brian Ivie. He learned about Pastor Lee’s baby box and orphanage in the Los Angeles Times and knew it was a story worth sharing. However, he didn’t expect that through the journey of making this documentary, he would co-found Kindred Image to support Pastor Lee and come to know Christ.
On March 4th and 5th, the documentary will be played in theaters throughout the country. In Ottawa, you will be able to go to Landmark Cinemas 24 in Kanata, Cineplex Odeon in South Keys and Silvercity in Gloucester. To find if the documentary will be showing in your city, please go to the DropBox website. I really think that everyone should take some time to go see this touching documentary and discover how God cares for these little ones. But please be aware that you should bring some tissues with you because this documentary will touch your heart.
Disclaimer: Thanks to Graf-Martin and Focus on the Family for allowing me to preview the documentary in advance in order for me to promote the Drop Box. I was not monetarily compensated for this review. Please note that the review was not influenced by the Sponsor in any way. All opinions expressed here are only my own.