Pastor Lee Jong-rak and his wife, Chun-ja, run the Jusarang Community in a poor urban neighborhood of Seoul, South Korea. Jusarang, which means “God’s love,” is their humble three-bedroom home. But it also serves as a vibrant church and a group home for orphaned, abandoned and disabled children. At any one time, Pastor Lee, Chun-ja and a small team of volunteers care for as many as 20 kids.
Pastor Lee, whose own son, Eun-man, was born with crippling cerebral palsy, is known throughout the neighborhood as a defender of the defenseless. It was this reputation that led a frightened young mother to surrender her disabled newborn on his front step on a cold winter night several years ago. The baby girl would nearly freeze to death before Pastor Lee found her. But in that moment, he knew that children like her were not safe. He knew something had to be done. And so, the drop box was born.
Pastor Lee told Australia’s SBS TV: “The prejudice against disabled people is severe. People neglect them. They find them repugnant. They don’t treat them with respect. They don’t treat them as human beings. I can see that if these children had gone elsewhere, they would have died. I’m glad they’ve come here. I’m so thankful that I’m able to help them.”