Lifemark Movie. (L-R Rebecca Rogers, Kirk Cameron, Raphael Ruggero, Dawn Long, Alex Kendrick
Hope is at the heart of every journey … so says the tagline of a powerful new movie releasing on DVD home video this week (December 13th).
When we break that sentence down to its truest essence we find that if this feeling of expectation and desire for a certain thing to happen didn’t exist, our lives would be empty and literally void of all the goodness that life affords us.
Hope is what gets us through each day. It is what drives us. It’s the fuel that provides energy, vitality, and strength.
But hope is not guaranteed. It is not free. It is something we must seek. While it may be difficult to locate at times, hope is what keeps us hanging on.
Hope also provides us with the power of a choice.
In this new movie called Lifemark, we find a young man’s comfortable world is turned upside down when his birth mother unexpectedly reaches out to him, longing to meet the 18-year-old son she has only held once. But she has hope that somehow, someway, he will agree to meet her. This choice he is presented with pushes him to embark on a journey that leads to a staggering truth from his past.
Executive produced by Alex and Stephen Kendrick, Lifemark is based on an incredible true story that celebrates adoption, reconciliation, and most importantly, finding love through hope.
In anticipation of its release to home video, I recently sat down with Alex and Stephen to discuss some tremendous ministry stories as related to the film, how Lifemark will impact people and their view on adoption, and some tips for people considering taking the next step in their pursuit of providing a forever home to someone.
If you were trying to convince someone to take the time to sit down and watch Lifemark, what would your sales pitch be? What would you say to convince them to fire up some popcorn and watch it?
Alex Kendrick: Lifemark is a true story that will not only make you laugh and make you tear up, but will also inspire a fresh way of thinking when you look at adoption and the value of life. We were introduced to the story through Kirk Cameron. He saw the actual footage of this young 18-year-old who had been placed for adoption when he learned his biological mother walked out of an abortion clinic at the last second. It was the last second before the procedure started. She said, ‘No, I’ve changed my mind. I don’t want to do this.’ And she placed the baby for adoption. His name is David and he was adopted by a Christian couple that could not have their own children. And so, they raised him in a loving home, and he was able to meet his biological mother at the age of 18 or 19. That event was filmed.
And man, it will just grab your heart because the biological mother thought he would hate her, and he did not. He was full of gratitude. He said, ‘Thank you for the decision you made. Thank you for letting me be adopted. I am so grateful for my life. I love my family.’ Melissa, the biological mother, now speaks around the country. And then, David just became a lawyer. He’s newly married and helps other families adopt children. How beautiful is this? There are other twists and turns in the stories that make this such an enjoyable movie. We put Lifemark in theaters where it came out as a Fathom event. Fathom events usually do $1 to 2 million in revenue. This one did over $5 million. So we were thrilled.
As you mentioned, the movie made its debut in September, and I’m sure you’ve received some wonderful feedback about it. I’m sure there have been some ministry type moments. Any stories you can share?
Stephen Kendrick: If you go to Rotten Tomatoes, you can see that we got a 100 percent on the Rotten Tomatoes positive reviewer side. But then, if you read the audience reviews as to what viewers are saying, there were so many emotional stories of people saying this movie not only moved them deeply, but they said everybody needs to see it. ‘I’ve watched it again.’ ‘I’m spreading the word to other people.’ We’ve heard many other stories beyond that.
Alex had somebody walk up to him after one of the screenings and say, ‘My wife and I have not been able to have children. She’s been talking about adoption. I have not been open to that at all.’ He said, halfway through watching this movie, ‘God spoke to my heart and said you can do this.’ He was choking back tears. And he told Alex, ‘I’m going home right now and tell my wife we’re going to adopt now.’ So, that was a big deal. Also, there was an Uber driver in Las Vegas that watched Lifemark in the theater. And then, he picked up a young girl who had used her Uber app to call a driver. And he picks her up and realizes it’s an abortion clinic that he’s driving her to. This guy is really introverted and shy but he turned to her and said, ‘I just watched this movie called Lifemark about the beauty of adoption. You need to see this film. Would you be willing to talk to somebody before you make this life changing decision?’ And so, she agreed to talk to somebody. He connected her to a local women’s pregnancy center. And they not only talked to her about the beauty of the life that was inside of her, but she chose to not have the abortion. She ends up giving her life to Christ. And they also reconnected her with her family that she was estranged from in Texas to fly her back home to be with her family. This is an Uber driver. He said that watching the movie was so powerful for him, he had to share it with that girl before driving her anywhere. I just praise God and that’s just two stories. But there’s many more.
This film is obviously pro-family, pro-reconciliation, pro-forgiveness, and a few other pros scattered in between. Looking at this long term, how do you think this film will impact people and how they view adoption three to five years from now?
Alex Kendrick: Hearing the stories of adoption is very wild, but at the same time, there is beauty in all of it. Even though there are hard days, there’s beauty in it, just due to the fact that you can pour love and life into someone else. And it parallels what God does with us. If you read the book of Ephesians, it talks about how we were separated by God, from God, because of sin. And yet He offered to spiritually adopt us through Christ back into the family. So, we are adopted spiritually. If you are a Christian, if you are in Jesus Christ, put your faith in Him. You are spiritually adopted. And so, to see how that mirrors physical adoption, when we go through that process and the many, many beautiful stories of adoption, even through hardships sometimes, are just incredible.
Stephen Kendrick: And if it’s like our other films, we hear stories even decades later because people say, ‘Hey, I want to introduce you to my spouse. We reconciled after seeing Fireproof. I had a guy in Mexico crying who said, ‘I grew up in a home that was intact because my parents, after seeing Fireproof, chose to not get a divorce. And I’m so grateful for that movie impacting our lives.’ We’ve heard people coming to Christ, we’ve heard stories of God stepping in and helping deliver people from addictions that have been in their lives. And so, our prayer and hope is that when people are watching any of these movies, that they will have an encounter with God and that the Holy Spirit will speak to their hearts about whatever He wants to say to them because He knows what they need to hear. We hope they will be inspired to trust God in the hard times. That they’ll be inspired to surrender to His control when they don’t know what to do in all circumstances. We hope they’ll realize that He is for them and that Jesus came not to hurt us or kill and destroy, but to give us life and life more abundantly. I’m hoping that politicians will change their minds about abortion and adoption. I’m hoping that new adoption ministries will get started. I’m hoping that there’ll be tons of lives saved. And there will also be many families that experience the joys of adoption after having seen the film. That’s only something God can do.
Let’s say someone has seen the movie Lifemark, God has touched their heart, and now they are considering adoption. What’s the first thing they should do to make sure they’re ready for that?
Stephen Kendrick: They should pray and talk to their spouse, get on the same page with each other, and ask the Lord to confirm that decision. Sometimes we make decisions out of emotion, and then later on we look back and we think, I didn’t sit down and consider the cost with everything. My wife and I, when we adopted our daughter Mia, there was a lot of prayer in the entire journey. We prayed, ‘Lord, will you confirm that you want us to do this? In which country? Is it America? Do we need to go for special needs? Would you order our steps?’ And so, when we don’t run ahead of God, but we stay in sync with Him, He will order our steps, open and close doors, and provide. Then you will see His hand as a blessing on those decisions. And so, on lifemarkmovie.com, we have links to adoption agencies that can walk people through that whole journey and process. So we would tell people, don’t be afraid, but be prayerful and careful. Don’t be fearful but move forward and trust God if He is leading you in that direction.
What’s your greatest hope for the video release or the whole experience of Lifemark?
Alex Kendrick: We love the ministry of this true story. It’s hard to argue with a true story. And we know that this is a sensitive topic when people debate whether abortion should be legal or not. But we side with looking at it from the eyes of the creator. God is the one who created life. So even though your rights are important, something supersedes those rights, ultimately. We have to go with what Scripture says, and give an account of our life to the one who created us. We’re going to stand before Him. Scripture says this, so His perspective on it supersedes everything. So, we’re not trying to take away rights, but we do want to point to the one who created us and the one we are ultimately accountable to. And when we please Him, good things happen. This movie is a great example of someone who was following the logic and the rights of the day by walking into a clinic to say, ‘This is an inconvenient time for me to be pregnant. I don’t want to be burdened by this. I’m exercising my right to have an abortion.’ But the Lord got ahold of her heart and at the last second she walks out and says, ‘I’m going to choose the adoption route.’ And we see how that plays out. Lifemark is a beautiful story of a generation that has saved not just one baby. Because the young baby that became David Scott, today is married, starting a family, and now helping other people adopt children. So, his impact has grown and it’s beautiful. It’s not just about the life and impact that one child would’ve had. It’s the generation it would’ve led to. Adoption is a beautiful point of ministry, a beautiful point of life. And for us to value life the way God values it, that is our goal.
Lifemark is also available for streaming on the Pure Flix App.
Watch a Trailer for Lifemark: