Don’t miss the chance to see The Drop Box! It’s entertaining, true, informative, inspirational…and it’s important. It’s such an important film. It’s the story of a pastor in Seoul, South Korea who developed a drop box for babies, and the abandoned children he has raised as a result. It’s a story about humanity—the best of humanity. A man and his wife who give selflessly, relentlessly of everything they have to save the lives of children (often with special needs) that people don’t want or aren’t able to care for. It’s ultimately the story of the sacrificial and extreme love of God—the love of God which is extended to each and every person on this earth, especially the “least” among us.
Pastor Lee and his wife had a son with extreme disabilities. He had the “no brain” disease, (also known as brain lesions). For fourteen years, their son lived in the hospital. Many people may wonder what is the point of such a life? He can do nothing for himself. He cannot talk. He cannot move. He cannot even eat for himself. But the Lord used him to teach Pastor Lee the value and dignity of human life—not because he was “great” but because he was weak.
Ultimately, it was because of Eun-Man, that Pastor Lee built the drop box. It was because of his son that he learned to value life, even the life of orphans with special needs (the least of the least in their society). It was because of him, that he became aware of the great need. Their fourteen years in the hospital increased his awareness and exposure to the amount of abandoned kids, children with special needs, and families who weren’t equipped to handle them. It also made others aware of this man and his wife who would so love and care for a child with such disabilities. It wasn’t long before babies were showing up on their door step, and they had hearts that were prepared to take them in.
This boy, who people would say had no purpose in life because he wasn’t able to “do” anything had a purpose. A huge purpose! He was going to save hundreds of abandoned children off the streets of Seoul. Not through his actions, but through his very being. His existence was going to inspire others… who but God could have foreseen such a beautiful thing at his birth? One of the boys Pastor Lee adopted said this: “I believe God made the baby box because of Eun-man. God purposely blessed, not cursed, Eun-man to build the baby box, and I’m really glad that he did.” Pator Lee said of his son, “Through Eun-man, I felt the value of a human life.” And of disabled children he said, “God sent them to earth with their disabilities. They’re not the unnecessary ones. They teach people. They live with smiles on their faces.” And because of that, he has given his life to rescuing them.
Inscribed over the baby box is Psalm 27:10 “Though my father and mother forsake me, the Lord will receive me.” In 2013 they received 204 abandoned babies in the box. At the filming of the movie, they had received 354 babies in all, 60% of which are from teenage moms. Whenever a young mom reaches out to the Pastor for help, they are suicidal, every time. In their culture, they are forced to register if they have a baby (even if they give it up for adoption) and if they register their ID, it is highly likely that they will be kicked out of school and ridiculed and often worse. They are terrified to be found out, so their only option, they feel, is to abandon the baby and hope it will be cared for. Now they have a place to abandon it safely where they know it will be cared for.
Of course there is some debate about this drop box concept. There are those who fear it will encourage irresponsible parenting. Of course, Pastor Lee feels it would be more irresponsible if babies were abandoned in the cold to freeze to death with no one to look after them, as had been happening before the box was an option.
When a child comes, the pastor names the child with hope. The names are a prophecy and a blessing rolled into one. “She came late fall. I named her Autumn. You know how beautiful the foliage is. I want her to have a beautiful life.” “Why did you name him Giri? Victory?” Pastor Lee replied, “He was so sick when he arrived, I wanted him to have a victorious life.” Whatever the negatives of their life might be, he names them the opposite, the positive. This is the nature of God. He makes what is broken and negative in this world and turns it into something whole and positive and beautiful. He turns ashes into beauty, mourning into gladness, what is barren into what is fruit bearing, death into life… This is the nature of God! He speaks to what is nothing and creates what is something. It’s who He is. He began creation and time this way, and has continued to do so throughout all of time. So this is something Pastor Lee learned from the nature of God, but it’s also something he learned from Eun-Man. Eun-Man seemed doomed to have a pointless, purposeless existence, and yet God has done great things through him—his purpose will be, arguably, greater than yours or mine. Not only are children in Seoul being saved because of him, but now people around the world are hearing this story and learning about the value of human life and the plight of the orphan.
I encourage you, take the time to see this movie while it’s in theaters. It’s only scheduled for a brief 3-day release. If you miss it there, then make a point to see it when it comes out on disc. You’ll be glad you did.
Also, DON’T MISS the story of the film itself and its director who became a Christian as he made it. Here is an excerpt from The Drop Box Director on Coming To Christ. Did you know he was only going to do a 5-10 minute film? Did you know he raised the money on kickstarter? Did you know about all the miracles that poured in, even before he became a Christian, which led him to believe there must be a God, and which led to the feature length film we have today? AMAZING story.
What happened from that first article and that first email to that correspondent? It was never supposed to be a feature film. It was actually planned out, from the very beginning, to be a five- to 10-minute short film that we were going to make. The bent of the movie is that it was going to pit this kind of Korean society of perfectionism—because there’s a lot of plastic surgery in Korea and it’s a very perfectionistic culture —against this man’s counterculture of taking in children with deformities and disabilities. He was rebelling against what seemed to me, at the time, to be Korean society at large. What I will tell you, and kind of the interesting twist to this whole narrative, is that I became a Christian while making this film. What I didn’t expect is that when I was going to go make a film about saving Korean babies that God was going to save me.
Did working on this film lead you to Christ, or were there other factors involved here? Like Lee Strobel would say, there are a lot of links in the chain, that’s for sure, but this was the first time I felt like I had experienced true love. Love that wasn’t about being weak at the knees, but something that was gritty and something that was sacrificial. Seeing this pastor and how he had drawn a line in the sand and said, “No one dies here,” and had built, in some ways, a bunker for babies and said, “I’m going to take care of you. I’m going to go after you, even though you may never know that I’ve done this for you, even though you may never know that you needed to be rescued.” That, to me, really mirrored the love of the Father. When I saw myself as one of those children, that’s when everything changed.