I have attended the Jubilee Awards for the San Antonio Independent Christian Film Festival for years. I have never been more moved than by what I heard about a “Best Of Festival” film than when I learned about this profoundly inspiring documentary entitled “The Drop Box” directed by 22-year-old Brian Ivie.
On June 19, 2011, Brian read an article in the Los Angeles Times with this headline: “South Korean pastor tends an unwanted flock.” It went on to say, “In a country that prizes physical perfection, Pastor Lee Jong-rak, his eyes opened after caring for his own disabled son, has been taking in unwanted infants, who if not for his drop box would be left in the street.”
Most drop boxes collect school supplies, canned food or clothing. This one was made back in 2009 to collect unwanted babies.
That one article inspired Brian to put together a Kickstarter campaign in which he hoped to raise $20,000 to cover the cost of the airfare to Korea for his small crew, some cameras, lights and editing equipment.
In his Kickstarter campaign, Ivie wrote, “In countries around the world, babies are abandoned due to poverty and domestic violence, among other reasons. Children with disabilities, however, are the most vulnerable and even the most ‘disposable.’ Our belief is that every child deserves to live and be loved.
“Since 1998, Pastor Lee Jong-rak, leader of Jusarang Community Church in Seoul, South Korea has saved nearly three dozen infants, all of whom were abandoned because of their disabilities. Pastor Lee installed the 24-hour ‘drop box’ on the side of his home where parents can leave their unwanted babies. The following words can be read on the drop box: ‘This is a facility for the protection of life. If you can’t take care of your disabled babies, don’t throw them away or leave them on the street. Bring them here.’
“We hope to build a ‘barrier-free home’ for Lee’s children, which will be a beacon of hope for all victims. This is Pastor Lee’s dream. A barrier-free home is a facility that meets the special needs of his children. It would not have stairs. It would have a working ventilation system. It would be close to hospitals and special education schools. And it would be safe. Currently, Pastor Lee and his staff must carry certain children up the stairs because they cannot use their legs. No one can match Pastor Lee’s compassion, but a larger, more appropriate home would result in a better quality of life for these children. They deserve it.”