You could be the “one person” who makes a difference. Although this article is written for pastors, it applies to every single follower of Jesus.
From Focus on the Family
ONE PASTOR MAKES ALL THE DIFFERENCE
By Jim Daly
Picture this scene: it is the middle of the night, and the doorbell rings. A weary man stumbles to the door and opens it. There is no one standing on the front step. But when he looks down, he sees a small bundle in a cardboard box. Instinctively, he brings it inside and opens it. Wrapped inside a blanket is a tiny newborn baby, almost frozen by the mid-December cold.
This is the scenario that played out in a poor urban neighborhood of Seoul, South Korea several years ago—on the doorstep of a pastor named Lee Jong-rak. The baby, which suffered from physical disabilities, had been surrendered by a desperate unwed mother, under the cover of night, in the hope that the child would find a safe refuge in Pastor Lee’s home.
As gripping as this story is, it actually begins many years earlier, with the birth of Pastor Lee’s own son, Eun-man. The child was born with crippling cerebral palsy, leaving his body deformed and making him dependent upon his parents for constant care. His condition was so serious that Pastor Lee, along with his wife and their young daughter, essentially spent the first 14 years of Eun-man’s life in the hospital with him, waiting for the day when they could take him home.
During those years in the hospital, in addition to caring for Eun-man, Pastor Lee reached out to many other physically challenged kids. Over time, he took in several orphans from the hospital. By the time he was able to move Eun-man and the rest of his growing family back home, his reputation as a loving and compassionate shepherd was firmly established. It was this reputation that compelled a frightened young mother to surrender her baby on his front step on that cold December night.
With the problem of child abandonment growing throughout Seoul (on average, more than 200 babies are abandoned on the streets there every year), Pastor Lee knew something had to be done. So he installed a “baby box” on the side of his home as a way for desperate young mothers to anonymously and safely surrender their children. A sign posted above the box bears Psalm 27:10: “For my father and mother have forsaken me, but the Lord will take me in.” Since installing the box in 2009, more than 600 babies have been surrendered into Pastor Lee’s care.
Can you relate to Pastor Lee’s story? As a pastor, you provide that same level of love and care. Your circumstances might look different, but you nevertheless invest in the lives of those around you with the same spirit of Christ-like love.
Like Pastor Lee, you’ve probably received one of those midnight knocks on your front door, or maybe a phone call or a text, from someone in crisis. Perhaps the issue isn’t an abandoned baby. It might be someone who has just discovered their spouse is having an affair, or who has lost their job, or been diagnosed with cancer, or experienced the sudden death of a loved one.
And like Pastor Lee, you have challenges of your own at home. Maybe not a child with cerebral palsy, but challenges nonetheless—things that require your love and time and attention, and that have the potential to drain your already dwindling reserves of energy. Even so, when a member of your congregation has a need, you make time, you make room. You sacrifice.
As a pastor, you are available—to care, to admonish, to shepherd, to teach, to listen. This is a gift to your flock and a powerful example to a watching world of authentic, Christ-like love and service. There are likely days when you feel overlooked and unappreciated, but please know that we here at Focus are praying for you as you minister the love of Christ in your community. Thank you! May we never take you and your work for granted.
If you want to learn more about Pastor Lee, I hope you and your congregation will make plans to attend The Drop Box, Focus on the Family’s new documentary film appearing in movie theaters nationwide for three nights only, March 3, 4, and 5. The power of this story is such that the director of The Drop Box, Brian Ivie, actually committed his life to Christ during the making of the film!
Watch this video clip to get a behind-the-scenes glimpse of how we plan to share Pastor Lee’s story: http://youtu.be/TA-G9kQMzJY.
For theaters and showtimes, as well as resources to help you promote this important movie at your church, visit www.TheDropBoxFilm.com.