"I'm Not Ashamed", a film from Pure Flix featuring the true story of Rachel Joy Scott at Columbine High School, hits theaters later this month and promises to challenge, inspire and uplift audiences of all ages.
Rachel was the first of 13 people - twelve students and one teacher - killed at Columbine on April 20, 1999, and was singled out because of her Christian faith. While she sat on a patch of grass, eating lunch with her friend, 18-year-old Eric Harris and 17-year-old Dylan Klebold approached her, shooting her three times. After realizing Rachel was still alive, the killers returned and asked her, "Do you still believe in God?" She answered, "You know I do", whereupon he replied "Then go be with Him" and shot her in the head.
However, God took what man intended for evil and turned it to good, and while Rachel only lived to be 17 years old, her legacy of faith, courage and compassion continues to impact the world today. Her mother, Beth Nimmo, has authored several books about Rachel's life - "Rachel's Tears" and "The Journals of Rachel Scott" - and shares her daughter's story with students across the country.
Beth also serves as an executive producer on "I'm Not Ashamed", and shared with The Gospel Herald how, 17 years after Rachel's death, God told her it was time to tell her daughter's story on the big screen.
"I've been approached many times, and I knew at some point that I would decide to do this, because Rachel's story is so powerful," Beth told GH. "We've been sharing it for 17 years, and we always get a wonderful response, and so I knew I'd be making a movie at some point - I just had to find the right partner. Her story is a very holy story - it's about the blood of the martyr. So, it was important to find the right partner for that. When Pure Flix approached me, and shared the vision that I had about reaching young people of this generation, I immediately knew it was the right time."
"I'm Not Ashamed", starring Masey McLain, Ben Davies and Sadie Robertson, is based on journals, drawings and other writings Rachel left behind prophesying her premature death and expressing her love for Christ and desire to be used by Him. After discovering those journals following Rachel's death and realizing what God had done in her daughter's heart, Beth said she knew the young woman's story needed to be shared with the world.
"Rachel became saved when she was 12, and she started writing close to that time period," Beth said. "But, it was very private; we didn't know how God was using her. She didn't talk about how she loved and ministered to people, and she didn't tell us about these visions of premature death. She wrote about dying at a young age. As a mother, if I had seen those things, I would have stopped and tried to intervene. But, the Lord kept that private, between Him and her. What we are able to share with the public is very pure. Nothing interrupted what was happening in her heart. It was a surprise to me, and it was a shock. I was stunned by the fact that Rachel prophesied her death at a young age, which she did on more than one occasion."
Beth hopes "I'm Not Ashamed" inspires viewers and reminds students that they're not alone - no matter what society tells them: "That's one of the devil's biggest lies," she said. "He lets kids believe they're the only ones that are staying pure - that's his biggest tool. I want kids to understand that's not true, that everybody goes through those struggles. The enemy attacks everyone with the same mindset, and these struggles are real."
More importantly, Beth said her prayer for the film is that it inspires a whole generation of young men and women to stand firm in their faith and rise up, boldly asking for the Lord to use them to further His kingdom - whatever the cost may be.
"Our goal is really long term it's not short term, it's not just to entertain people," she said. "We hope to make a powerful and lasting impact through this film. You can fail and still be used by the Lord. Rachel wasn't perfect, and you don't have to perfect to be used by God. Kids think they have to clean up their lives to be used by the Lord, but the opposite is true - all they have to want is that desire and God qualifies them and fulfills the desires of their heart. When Rachel said, 'I want to be used by the Lord,' - her life was messy, and yet God found a willing vessel. We want to raise up a movement. The movie itself is just to facilitate what we want to do as a movement. Rachel called herself a 'Warrior for Christ', and we want a whole body of young warriors to be raised up and be lights in the this dark world that we live in."
When asked what Rachel would think of "I'm Not Ashamed," Beth said her daughter would tell her, "Mom, you got it right."
"I think we hit her mark," Beth said. "She would say, 'This is what I want the world to know about me and my love for the Lord and for people.' She had an authentic love for God, and she truly cared about people - especially people who fell through the gaps or felt misunderstood. She had a lot of compassion. We tried to portray that in this movie, I think it truly represents her heart."
For more information visit: ImNotAshamedFilm.com