A Theatrical Event Coming March 2015
Inspiration Behind the Film
In June of 2011, the Los Angeles Times published an article with the intriguing headline, “South Korean pastor tends an unwanted flock.” At the time, director Brian Ivie and co-producers Will Tober and Bryce Komae were students at the University of Southern California. Ivie read the Times article and was touched by its account of Lee Jong-rak, a pastor in Seoul who had set up a “drop box” at the front of his church to rescue babies that would otherwise be abandoned. The children suffered from various disabilities, but according to the Times, “To Pastor Lee Jong-rak, they are perfect. And they have found a home here at the ad hoc orphanage he runs with his wife and small staff.”
Ivie, Tober, and Komae decided that Pastor Lee’s makeshift orphanage would make an excellent subject for a documentary. They made contact with Pastor Lee and raised funds, eventually taking a small team to Seoul in December of 2011. The resulting documentary paints a moving portrait of a modern day hero and points viewers to the loving God whose heart is compassionate toward the fatherless.
Ivie’s experience changed him forever. In fact, it was during the making of the film that he committed his life to Christ for the very first time. Brian says, “I saw all these kids come through this drop box with deformities and disabilities, and eventually—like a ‘heaven flash'—I realized that I was one of those kids too; that I have a crooked soul, all this brokenness inside, but God still wanted me.”
Focus on the Family & Kindred Image Team Up
Raising awareness of the plight of orphans.
Two years and four visits after their initial trip to Seoul, Brian, Will and Bryce created Kindred Image, a company created to continue Pastor Lee’s life-saving work. Kindred Image is committed to sharing Pastor Lee’s story with anyone who will listen, implementing fundraising strategies to enable his ministry, and ultimately carrying on his courageous vision for life in other countries around the world.
Focus on the Family’s relationship with Kindred Image began in 2013, when the Focus team was working in Los Angeles to complete the ministry’s first feature-length documentary, Irreplaceable. Through a series of “coincidences”—actually Divine appointments!—members of the Irreplaceable production team met Brian Ivie, who was in Los Angeles at the same time searching for a means to distribute and promote The Drop Box.
Focus on the Family’s plan was—and is—for Irreplaceable to be the first in a series of documentaries exploring the social issues of our day through a biblical lens, pointing directly to the ministry’s 12-part DVD based small group study, The Family Project. After meeting Brian and learning about his film, it became clear that The Drop Box would make a perfect fit for the second documentary in the series. It was a match made in heaven. Focus and Kindred Image’s shared passion for the sanctity of human life and mutual commitment to raising awareness of the plight of orphans worldwide aligned perfectly. It was a pairing that only God could have orchestrated.