I Still Believe is a 2020 Christian Romantic saga of a young couple, Jeremy and Melissa Lynn Henning-Camp, who learn to rely on God while Melissa struggles with cancer. The film displays love, hope, and faith. What people may not know is that the film is based on the life of music and songwriter, Jeremy Camp.
Camp (played by KJ Apa) was raised in Lafayette, Indiana and attended Calvary Bible Chapel College in Murrieta, California where he first met his future wife, Melissa Henning (played by Britt Robertson).
“I remember the first time that I met her we were at a Bible Study. And during worship, I looked up at once, and there she was just raising up her hands just singing and that’s what kind of attracted me to her,” Camp revealed in an interview.
The two eventually got married, but sadly Melissa passed away shortly thereafter on February 5, 2001 when she was 21 and Camp was 23. Prior to their marriage, she had cancer that went into remission. Soon after their wedding, the couple learned her cancer returned and she would have weeks to live.
Hearing-Camp’s belief in God often inspired Camp to keep going. She often told him, “If one person gives their life to Jesus because of this [her cancer story] then it’s all worth it.”
In his grieving, two weeks after Lynn-Hearing’s death, Camp wrote his hit single, “I Belong Here.”
“I remember one night the Lord speaking to my heart to sit down and write a song, and I really didn’t feel like writing at the time, but of course the tug was too strong,” he recalled. “The whole basis of the song is that basically, no matter what happens in your life or how devastating a situation may be, God is still on the throne. And everything in His word is truth.”
The film challenged Camp to relieve certain scenes from his life. “The hospital brought back bad memories for me and at one point I was literally watching the hospital scene and I broke down [and] I left,” he remembered.
Camp noted how Apa playing him has been an encouragement.
“It’s very bizarre, but what gave me peace and comfort over the whole thing was that he [Apa] asked me one time during the filming very early on, ‘Hey, how did you react in this situation.'” Camp recalled. “What that meant to me is ‘I [Apa] care about you and who you are and portraying this accurately.’ Honestly, he did such a good job that he brought up all of those emotions.”
Camp often remembers that despite his pain, God has still been faithful to him. He remarried in 2003 to Adrienna Camp, and they have three children, Bella, Aerie, and Egan Camp.
“I want to share that there’s hope and there’s kind of two ways you can go with your pain: you can either turn back from the Lord, but then you get back to the point where you ask, ‘where else am I going to turn?’”
Actress Britt Robertson, who portrayed Melissa in the film, believes that the movie resonates with audiences.
“I think it’s the community. It’s a good opportunity for people to go out and see a film like this and you know people can bring their church groups. I think people rally around people who are maybe like-minded and love a faith-based film because there’s not so many each year.”