The real-life story of Jeremy and Melissa Camp is vividly told in the just-released Lionsgate, Kingdom Story and Erwin Brothers’ production I Still Believe. This is a faith-based movie that chronicles the meeting, courtship and short marriage of Camp and the love of his life, Melissa Henning, who are attending Calvary Chapel Bible College in Murrieta, California. The movie powerfully depicts their lives and Melissa’s battle with cancer, her initial healing and the return of the disease, which would take her life just four months after their marriage.
I Still Believe topped the box office on its opening day proving there is a demand for Hollywood to make Christian films. It stars KJ Apa, a New Zealand actor who gained fame playing Archie Andrews in the CW drama series Riverdale. Britt Robertson, who also played the lead role in Tomorrowland, is cast as Camp’s wife, Melissa. It also stars legends Gary Sinise and Shania Twain.
In an Instagram post after the tremendous opening day, Camp wrote, “Thanks to everyone who went out yesterday to support the film. I know times are crazy and uncertain right now, but we should never be controlled by fear. Stay healthy and remember God is in control! Love you guys! #istillbelieve”
I’ve seen the movie multiple times, including a screening for the Bible college for which I work. I believe this movie has a powerful message, especially for the times in which we now live.
The COVID-19 virus has changed life in America and around the world. It is an uncertain and uneasy time. The message of this movie resonates against that backdrop. No matter what happens, God is in control He’s got this. He’s the one that paints the universe with billions of stars and galaxies. He’s bigger than anything that happens here and, no matter what, we can trust him.
Into a world of questions, fears, and sickness, this movie delivers a message of encouragement. On their first date, Melissa takes Jeremy to a planetarium and speaks in awe that the God of a trillion stars knows her name and has a destiny for her. When that destiny clashes with cancer, she expresses her fear in a real way, but also trusts. She’s afraid but yields to God’s plan. She knows that even though she wouldn’t have chosen this path for herself, God can use her illness to change the lives of others. If just one person’s life is changed, then what happens to her will all be worth it. Jeremy and Melissa Camp’s story is one of trust, even when things are hard.
Perhaps now, more than at any other time, people are crying out for something that has significance, meaning and eternal consequence. I Still Believe affirms that there is a way of life that matters. Two years after Melissa’s passing, Adrienne, a singer from a different Christian band tells Jeremy that his and Melissa’s story saved her. She was broken and at a point where she needed to see that God was real. She wanted to know he was meaningful to someone going through real suffering. She tells Jeremy that she saw that in Melissa when, at the concert, he compared her to the woman who touched Jesus’ robe. It’s one of many moving scenes in this movie. How we live our lives does matter, especially in this challenging time.
The movie also talks about some hard realities. Jeremy and his dad (Gary Sinise in the movie) share a poignant moment after Melissa’s death. It is a time of sharing important truths. Even when prayers aren’t answered as we hope they would be, God is still God. Life is full, not in spite of disappointments, but because of them.
The movie ends with the song Jeremy wrote after Melissa’s death and has become the title of his book and the move, “I Still Believe.” Here are the words of the chorus…
I still believe in Your faithfulness
I still believe in Your truth
I still believe in Your holy word
even when I don’t see, I still believe.
I know movie theaters may not be showing movies much longer. If you can go see it, do it. If not, then when it is available, get it. You won’t be disappointed.