Directing The Drop Box with Brian Ivie

Across the world, there are over 150 million orphans that are waiting to be adopted. In the United States alone, there are 100,000 children waiting for a family to call their own. Brian Ivie directed The Drop Box, a documentary film about the life of Pastor Lee Jong-rak and his wife. They installed a drop box on the outer wall of their house to provide a safe place for babies that would otherwise be left to die on the streets. Many of the babies rescued are physically or mentally handicapped. Since 2009, more than 630 babies have been saved and many have been adopted. Risen interviewed Ivie in 2015 and talked with him about how he became a Christian while making the film and how he first heard about Pastor Lee and what compelled him about his story.

Ivie opens up on how he thought he was a Christian, but actually became a Christian during the making of the movie.

“I thought I was a Christian because I was good. In America, it is easy to think that you are a Christian because it is decorative. It was ironic that I got saved while making a movie because movies were my god. They were everything to me. It was what I worshipped. I was very wary of born-again evangelical Christians. But then I met some Christians that were different including my college roommate, Will. He showed me that Christians were people that aren’t afraid to be known. When I got to Korea, I met a man that wasn’t afraid to be known. He had a past. He was drunk for most of his twenties and chased skirts. I could relate to that. I was interacting with a reality that was more real than any of the dreams I had ever had for my life. Before I went on the trip, I bought a cross necklace because I wanted to be a Christian director. I wanted to be that guy that others could trust. At some point, the cross can’t just be something that you buy at a store; it is what bought you. What changed my life was after seeing these disabled and broken children being dropped off, was that I was broken too, and that I had just as much going on inside of me. What the church never told me was that who you are inside, is who you are. I heard a sermon about how Jesus Christ took my place and died for my sins. I didn’t think I had any sin. I had been addicted to pornography for years. I hit my knees for the first time. I experienced the Father’s love. I saw it through Pastor Lee who took all these kids into his home.”

 “Defend the weak and the fatherless; uphold the cause of the poor and the oppressed. Rescue the weak and the needy; deliver them from the hand of the wicked.” Psalm 82:3-4

 Ivie shares how he first heard about Pastor Lee and what compelled him about what Lee was doing.

 “I read his story in the LA Times on June 20, 2011. The article was about a pastor who had built a mailbox for unwanted babies. More specifically, it was a depository for the disabled babies. So it was like a bin for the most disposable kids. I was eating my breakfast and I just kept rereading the article. But I felt like it really applied to me even though I wasn’t Korean and I didn’t have any Korean friends to my knowledge. I had no idea that this man would change my life forever. But I did know that it compelled me. The courage displayed was that of the classics where it wasn’t a one-time heroic effort, but an ongoing courage. I decided to email him. I heard back a month later. He replied back, ‘Dear Brian, I don’t know what it means to make a documentary film, but you can come live with me for a month.’ That would become the second most important decision in my life.”  

 Risen Reflections

Pray. Pray for Pastor Lee and the Drop Box that God would provide for their needs as they serve the children that have been dropped off. Give them energy as they work tirelessly around the clock helping babies and children, many of which have disabilities. Pray for families to adopt children worldwide. Pray for provision for these families financially as adoption often costs quite a bit and for resources as they go through the adoption process.

Adopt. While God might not call every family to adopt, each of us can support the adoption process in one way or another. If there is local or international orphanage that you have a connection with, ask them what their needs are. Host a fundraiser or drive with your friends or small group to raise awareness for the orphanage and the needs that they have. If you have a friend or family member that is going through the adoption process, ask how you can support them. It is often a grueling process. Some families set up giving accounts as well because the cost of adoption can be very expensive. Consider supporting someone that is adopting.

Show the Father’s love. Whether it is to a child or a co-worker, each of us have people in our lives that need to experience the love of God. Ask God to show you this week someone in your life that needs to experience his love. Through your words, actions and conversation, prayerfully, that person will come to know and experience a relationship with Christ.


To read our entire interview with Brian Ivie, click here.

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