Movie Review: The Drop Box Film

(3/16/15)

Tonight I went to the movie theater. This was a big deal for me because I never, ever go to the theater. I don’t watch many movies and when I do I typically wait for them to come out on dvd and then rent them. This time, I wanted to go to the movies. I have never been so excited to spend money on paper tickets and sit through a two hour long movie. You see, two weeks ago I was supposed to go see The Drop Box movie with a few friends. The movie was only playing for three nights and at very few select theaters. My friend brought the movie to my attention and I was stoked to go see it. I purchased the tickets in advanced and we had planned on seeing it the last night it was playing. Unfortunately, a snow storm hit which inhibited us from seeing the movie. I was crushed as I had to request a refund for the movie tickets that I had been thrilled to purchase. About a week after the sorrowful cancellation, I received an e-mail informing me that they were playing the movie one more time! Once again, determined to go, I bought the tickets and started counting the days until my friends and I would go.

The Drop Box was an amazingly inspiring film. It was a documentary about a pastor in Seoul, South Korea who takes in children who have been abandoned. After realizing how many children were abandoned on the streets, in dumpsters, and left out in the cold, Pastor Lee installed a “Drop Box” or “Baby Box” in the wall of his church. The box was designed so that mothers could safely abandon their children anonymously. Every time a child is placed in the box, a bell rings to alert Pastor Lee. When he hears the bell, he runs downstairs to the box to get the abandoned child. He prays over each and every child that comes through the box. Him and his wife have taken in fifteen children, most of which have a disability of some sort.

Pastor Lee and his wife have two biological children. Their second child, a son, is severely disabled and requires 24/7 care. In the film, Pastor Lee talked about how the doctors told him that even if his son lived, he would live in a vegetative state for his entire life. The experience of taking care of his son gave him the ability to care for other children with disabilities.

A few of the older children that Pastor Lee and his wife had adopted were interviewed for the movie. One boy in particular stood out to me. He was ten years old and was missing entire and partial fingers and toes. He told the story of how kids made fun of him and made it miserable for him to go to school. Then, one day, he was elected class president. This little ten year old boy spoke with maturity beyond his years. He talked about how he was one day going to inherit his father’s work. He said that whether he wanted to inherit it or not, he was going to because otherwise all of his father’s work would go to waste. At ten years old, he has accepted and felt called to a future that is being built before him. He talked much like his father as he said that each and every child there had a purpose.

As if the movie itself wasn’t moving enough, at the end they showed a Q&A between the President of Focus on the Family and the director of The Drop Box. The director (Brian Ivie) said that he had read a little article in the newspaper about Pastor Lee’s dropbox. He read the article over and over and decided that he wanted to make a movie about it. He saw the movie as his way of receiving a specific award that he had set his eyes on. He packed up a team and spent six months in South Korea. They spent time with Pastor Lee’s family, they slept on the floor with the children, and lived days like the family lived. He went to South Korea to make a movie, bring attention to the drop box, and win his award. He had absolutely no idea how God was going to reveal Himself during his time in South Korea. Through the making of the movie, he came to know the Lord and gave his life over to Christ.

At the very end, one of the Q&A participants quoted Isaiah 8, “Here I am, send me,” but then she re-worded it and said, “Send me or send them to me.” I found that to be so powerful. Many Christians feel the overwhelming pull to travel overseas to be missionaries. While some are truly called to oversea missions, others just go because they think that is the only way God will use them. Truth is, missionaries are needed everywhere. We can me missionaries in our schools, work place, and neighborhoods. When God calls us to go we need to step forward and say, “send me,” but sometimes we just need to wait right where we are and ask Him to “send them to me.” In Pastor Lee’s case, God has sent fifteen children to live with him permanently and He sends children on a daily basis to the drop box.

I wish that I could watch the movie again. I wish that I could tell everyone to go see it. Sadly, the movie was only shown in theaters for four days and currently there are no plans for it to be made in to a dvd. I did find a book about it and I plan on reading that soon! God moves in our hearts through all kinds of things. For me tonight, it was a movie. It was the faces of dozens of children on the big screen. It was through the overwhelming love that shone through Pastor Lee and his wife. It brought to life my desire to adopt and do foster care. It reminded me that God has a plan and a purpose for me and for each and every person on earth. It proved to me that God’s plans are far beyond what I can imagine. Pastor Lee did not plan on adopting children or installing a drop box. He did not anticipate hearing the bell ring on a daily basis. He did not foresee him and his wife adopting children that were brought to them through the box. Now, as his health deteriorates and he ages, he worries about the well-being of his children and the children that have yet to be brought to him. God knows what He is doing. God has a plan.

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