Into Loving Arms: Rescuing Korea’s Abandoned Babies

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I’ve had the honour of previewing a very beautiful film called “The Drop Box.” It is about a courageous South-Korean man, Pastor Lee Jong-rak, and his loving wife, who care for babies abandoned on the streets of Seoul with a delicacy and tenderness that frequently moved me to tears.

It all began with their son, Eun-man, who was born with extreme physical disabilities. Because their son needed such constant care, Pastor Lee had to sell their house and move into a ward of the hospital with their 6 year old daughter, staying there for 5 years. They soon came to see, by the tenderness he inspired in others and by his ability to smile despite all his physical limitations, that Eun-man was both a gift to them and a teacher about the preciousness of life.

When they moved out of the hospital, other people began to bring them their disabled babies, because they knew Pastor Lee and his wife would care for them. In a society with a very low tolerance for disability or mental illness, their warm acceptance is a rare and special gift to disadvantaged children. Other such babies were being left on the streets after birth, to die in the cold. So to enable people to be able to abandon their babies anonymously, but safely, Pastor Lee made a drop box and installed it in the outer wall of his house.

When a baby is left, a bell sounds and Pastor Lee rushes down to pick up the child. It is so moving to see this older man hurrying down the stairs at 2 am to cradle a strange infant, praying on his knees in thanksgiving for this precious life. This is such generosity. This is such love.

Sometimes the babies are clean and swaddled, other times they still have the cord attached and have just been born. Sometimes they are accompanied by a sad letter from a teenage mother who doesn’t have her family’s support to care for her child…words like, “I’m so sorry. I’m so sorry. Please take care of my baby.”

“When I was naked, you clothed me, when I was hungry, you fed me…as you do to the least of these little ones, so you do unto me.”

Hundreds of babies are saved through the baby box each year. So many little ones who didn’t die abandoned on the cold, hard cement of a back alley. Most go to government agencies to be placed in care, but Pastor Lee and his wife have also adopted many, especially ones with disabilities, and are currently raising, with some help, 15 children. It is worth seeing this gorgeously filmed and beautifully scored movie just to see their happy little smiles, and to rejoice with them in the simple but miraculous gift of being alive.

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They’re not the unnecessary ones in the world.
God sent them here for a purpose.
Pastor Lee Jong-rak

While “The Drop Box” does deal with serious subject matter, it is ultimately a breath of hope in our world which is so often ready to give up on life. Pastor Lee’s humble but firm conviction that every child has a purpose and mission, and that their life—every life— is worth more than the whole world, resounds in my heart.

One lovely example is one of Pastor Lee’s adopted sons who was born missing many parts of his fingers. He struggled against his fear of rejection and ran for class president in his elementary school. To his great surprise, he was elected, twice! He asked his classmates why they voted for him, despite being “a disabled.” “Because you’re good at sports and everything else,” they said, and from then on his memories of being teased and rejected melted away. When he grows up, he wants to take over his father’s work in caring for abandoned babies and children, so all his father’s work isn’t lost, and so he can do more good. The maturity of this child!

I most heartily recommend seeing “The Drop Box,” the inspiring story of the Korean couple who so heroically pour themselves out night and day for the sake of love. As part of the proceeds go to support their amazing work for the most vulnerable—infants in danger of being abandoned—why not spread the word and invite your friends, too? Just click on the heart in the top right corner of the page to access the easy share buttons on the bottom of the page, and send this story to your friends on Twitter, Facebook or Google +. If you’re a follower and receive my posts in your email box, just click on “leave comment” at the bottom of the post and it will take you to my blog site so you can use the share buttons or comment yourself!

Canadian theatre showings will be March 4th and 5th. Here is the trailer to give you a taste!

The Drop Box Film – Award-Winning Documentary About Life

If you feel inspired to donate to help care for the many babies who are left in the drop box, or even to help support a mother in need to be able to keep and care for her baby, please visit the website below. Thank you and God bless you!

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