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

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.”

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Senior Digital Marketing Consultant

£28000 - £45000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Senior Digital Marketing Cons...

Recruitment Genius: Assistant Stores Keeper

£16640 - £18500 per annum: Recruitment Genius: An Assistant Stores Keeper is r...

Recruitment Genius: Claims Administrator

£16000 - £18500 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an excellent opportunit...

Recruitment Genius: Software Developer - C# / ASP.NET / SQL

£17000 - £30000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Developer required to join a bu...

Day In a Page

'It was first time I had ever tasted chocolate. I kept a piece, and when Amsterdam was liberated, I gave it to the first Allied soldier I saw'

Bread from heaven

Dutch survivors thank RAF for World War II drop that saved millions
Britain will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power - Labour

How 'the Axe' helped Labour

UK will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power
Rare and exclusive video shows the horrific price paid by activists for challenging the rule of jihadist extremists in Syria

The price to be paid for challenging the rule of extremists

A revolution now 'consuming its own children'
Welcome to the world of Megagames

Welcome to the world of Megagames

300 players take part in Watch the Skies! board game in London
'Nymphomaniac' actress reveals what it was really like to star in one of the most explicit films ever

Charlotte Gainsbourg on 'Nymphomaniac'

Starring in one of the most explicit films ever
Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi: The Emirates' out-of-sight migrant workers helping to build the dream projects of its rulers

Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi

The Emirates' out-of-sight migrant workers helping to build the dream projects of its rulers
Vince Cable interview: Charging fees for employment tribunals was 'a very bad move'

Vince Cable exclusive interview

Charging fees for employment tribunals was 'a very bad move'
Iwan Rheon interview: Game of Thrones star returns to his Welsh roots to record debut album

Iwan Rheon is returning to his Welsh roots

Rheon is best known for his role as the Bastard of Bolton. It's gruelling playing a sadistic torturer, he tells Craig McLean, but it hasn't stopped him recording an album of Welsh psychedelia
Russell Brand's interview with Ed Miliband has got everyone talking about The Trews

Everyone is talking about The Trews

Russell Brand's 'true news' videos attract millions of viewers. But today's 'Milibrand' interview introduced his resolutely amateurish style to a whole new crowd
Morne Hardenberg interview: Cameraman for BBC's upcoming show Shark on filming the ocean's most dangerous predator

It's time for my close-up

Meet the man who films great whites for a living
Increasing numbers of homeless people in America keep their mobile phones on the streets

Homeless people keep mobile phones

A homeless person with a smartphone is a common sight in the US. And that's creating a network where the 'hobo' community can share information - and fight stigma - like never before
'Queer saint' Peter Watson left his mark on British culture by bankrolling artworld giants

'Queer saint' who bankrolled artworld giants

British culture owes a huge debt to Peter Watson, says Michael Prodger
Pushkin Prizes: Unusual exchange programme aims to bring countries together through culture

Pushkin Prizes brings countries together

Ten Scottish schoolchildren and their Russian peers attended a creative writing workshop in the Highlands this week
14 best kids' hoodies

14 best kids' hoodies

Don't get caught out by that wind on the beach. Zip them up in a lightweight top to see them through summer to autumn
Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi: The acceptable face of the Emirates

The acceptable face of the Emirates

Has Abu Dhabi found a way to blend petrodollars with principles, asks Robert Fisk