Drop Box raises smiles

by Karen L. Willoughby, |
Lee Jong Rak welcomes an abandoned baby who had been placed in the drop box at the pastor's home.

PROVO, Utah (Christian Examiner) – Flanked by "world premiere" showings in Los Angeles and Atlanta, another 700 movie theaters across the nation presented The Drop Box Tuesday as the first of a three-day "special event" run by FathomEvents.com in connection with Focus on the Family and Kindred Films.

The Drop Box is a documentary about a Presbyterian pastor in Seoul, South Korea, who in 2009 built an oversized mailbox so women who did not think they could care for their child could leave him or her in a safe place, yet be anonymous. Since then, he has saved more than 600 infants, many with disabilities.

Focus on the Family President Jim Daly and film director Brian Ivie and others were on hand for the festivities in Atlanta. The film's main character Pastor Lee Jong Rak and others were in Los Angeles to celebrate.

"The smiles, the big smiles on all the children's faces; that's what I kept seeing," said Marianne Lindon of American Fork, who had driven with three friends about 20 miles south to the film showing at the Cinemark 16 in Provo, only one of two showings in Utah. "I don't know that any of us are ready to drop everything to be foster or adoptive parents – that's so much responsibility – and for sure none of us would even have the stamina to do what Pastor Lee does, take in more and more children every day.

"But there must be something we can do," Lindon continued. "We're going to Sub Zero for some ice cream; I expect we'll be talking about it there." Sub Zero is an ice cream parlor in Provo's Town Centre Mall, just outside the theater's front foyer.

Elaine Humphries of Spanish Fork, Utah, attended the Tuesday showing of The Drop Box with her grown daughter Lindsay.

"I've been to Seoul, and I think some of the streets filmed were streets we walked down," Humphries said. "That highlighted the realism of the film to me. To think people just stuff their unwanted babies in dark corners; I couldn't believe that!

"We hear news stories all the time about similar things here [in America]," Humphries added. "I think the pastor had a good idea [the drop box] that maybe people here should look into."

Prior to the film, a 20-minute pre-show told stories of two families who had rearranged their lives to take in foster children they later adopted. The second family gave thanks for the people who helped them with their new offspring, giving them an occasional break for a dinner alone, with the children well-cared-for, and other "helps" most any parent would be grateful for."

The promotional helped Focus on the Family draw attention to its program designed to help churches invest in those who are caring for orphans and other needy youngsters. They call it WRAP – wrestle in prayer, respite care, acts of service, and promises of God. See more at www.ICareAboutOrphans.org or www.fotf.com.

The Drop Box can be seen at 7 p.m. Wednesday and Thursday, March 4-5, at 700 theaters across the nation. See www.TheDropBoxFilm.com for theater locations, times and tickets.