A pastor in South Korea has found an amazing way to rescue abandoned babies. Lee Jong-rak is pastor of Jesus-Loving Union Church in Seoul. He created the Baby Box: A drop box in the side of his home with a sign that reads, “Place to leave babies.” Inside is a thick towel to cushion the babies, with lights and heating to keep the infant comfortable. When a baby is placed in the box, a bell rings immediately inside the home and the pastor, his wife, or staff associates move the baby inside.
According to official reports, about 600 infants or young children are abandoned on the streets of Seoul each year, though the actual number is probably higher. Only about 20 percent are rescued; hundreds die on the streets. Pastor Lee intended the Baby Box to be temporary, but will not close it until he is sure the government can offer adequate protection for abandoned babies. Many of the babies he has rescued have physical or mental challenges. He has personally adopted 10 of them, and is in the process of adopting four more.
Why is he so concerned about babies with challenges? His own son was born with a severe case of cerebral palsy that has confined him to a bed and rendered him non-verbal. Mr. Lee turned to God and eventually became a minister. He and his wife named their son “Eun-man,” which means “Full of God’s grace.” Now they are sharing that grace with babies from across their city and beyond.
We’re hearing about the Baby Box because of a 72-minute documentary film directed by 22-year-old Brian Ivie. His movie, called “The Drop Box,” won “Best of Festival” Jubilee Award at an Independent Christian Film Festival earlier this year. Ivie says making “The Drop Box” changed his life: “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. . . . This world is so much about self-reliance, self-worth, and self-esteem. It’s a total illusion that we can be self-sufficient. Christ is the only thing that enables us.”
It is estimated that out of every eight children born around the world, one will be abandoned, resulting in one million abandoned children each year. But the story of the Baby Box is making a difference. How can you help? Ivie is in negotiations with a major studio to release “The Drop Box” globally this fall. For now, he is asking us to join his mailing list and Facebook page from their website (www.dropbox-movie.com).
I invite you to visit the website and watch the film trailer. There I heard Pastor Kim say, “God, I will die for these children.” And I thought: Jesus already did.