South Korean church leader who set up ‘drop box’ to adopt unwanted babies sees trailer for documentary about his work become internet sensation

Pastor Lee Jong-Rak has taken six babies into his small home in the last year alone using the box fitted to the wall of his laundry

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The Independent Online

The extraordinary life of a church leader in South Korea has become a viral internet sensation after his work was featured across Christian networks last month.

Pastor Lee Jong-Rak is the man behind a scheme which has seen hundreds of abandoned babies adopted and given a new life. By providing “drop boxes” where mothers to unwanted children can anonymously leave them in safe hands, Pastor Lee is believed to have saved countless lives.

The Kindred Image charity, based in Los Angeles, was set up to support the work of Pastor Lee and spread the “vision” of drop boxes to help more people.

It has produced a trailer for an upcoming feature-length film documenting his work. Yet despite it winning a “sanctity of life” award at a Christian film festival last year, the trailer was only viewed a total of 400,000 times between its production in May 2012 and the end of 2013.

As of the start of this month, Brian Ivie’s production has now been seen 6.4 million times.

First being posted to websites like GodTube, The Christian Post and Faith IT in mid-January, the video has since experienced an extraordinary boom across social media.

People around the world have shared its Vimeo link on Twitter, with comments such as “tears at my desk”, “this is real love”, and “incredibly touching”.

Pastor Lee’s own story began when his son was born with crippling cerebral palsy. In a country where officials say around 600 babies are abandoned in the streets every year, Kindred Images says the pastor established a reputation as a “lover of the unlovable”.

Starting with a single, desperate mother, more and more people started asking him to adopt their children. When one was simply left in the cold outside his home, Pastor Lee built the first drop box, fitted with a motion sensor and an alarm.

He has adopted six babies in the last year alone, and says in the film: “They’re not the unnecessary ones in the world. God sent them here for a purpose.”