Like any homogenised man sprouting from the heart of Midwest America with a dream, Carl Wesley Anderson wanted to take the world and light it on fire. And, serving as an American Christian speaker, author, documentary filmmaker, business owner (reaching more than 20 nations including Europe, Scandinavia, the UK and Australia), he was doing just that.
Then came conflagration that nearly consumed him. “That was the day when the world fell from beneath my feet,” Carl stated, eyes gazing into a marbled hearth, blazing within his charming, 100-year-old Victorian-styled home. “Married. Three kids. Successful, award-winning wedding videography business. And then the diagnosis. And all I wanted to know was: Am I going to live? Or am I going to die? Tell, me, God.”
In 2014, Carl was diagnosed with stage 3B melanoma—a skin disease that had already begun infecting Carl’s blood and lymph nodes. And, according to the doctor, Carl didn’t have much time left.
For these past five years, since 2014, he has faced the onslaught of death: undergoing three major operations, enduring 69 weeks of a drug-induced fever – days at a time, and maintaining equanimity, even while the cancer threatened everything.
“We had to turn it over,” Carl stated, clearing his throat. “In the weakness of the disease, I had to let our successful wedding video business go. There were many sleepless nights spent thinking: my vision is lost; my goal is gone. How do I support my family?”
In spite of the uncertainty, even in moments of hopelessness, Carl never lost sight of his one true hope: in God. “As a Christian,” he said “I realised, even in the midst of suffering, I am loved by God. I have identity as his son, an adopted heir through Jesus Christ. I don’t have to ask: why this bad circumstance? But I do have to ask: what does God want me to do in the middle of it?
“So, I researched and discovered, through the Bible alone there are actually 21 ways of recognising God’s voice.” He paused and smiled. “I heard God promising me, and encouraging me, saying, ‘I have a new calling for this new season in your life. You are going to come out of these cancer treatments to become a media missionary. I want you to tell stories in documentary films, showing how I have been faithful to every generation, including [your] own.’”
Having published his book (available on Amazon UK or his website) Love Speaks: 21 Ways to Recognize God’s Multi-Faceted Voice (Born to Blaze Ministries), and encouraged and equipped with new purpose, Carl travelled to England, Wales, Scotland and Ireland and began filming the Love Speaksdocumentary film series. Without much in the way of finances to produce the series, Carl relied on faith.
“After my editing, all we had was an idea, seven historical episodes and a trailer. And what was seen by only 120 people, initially, got picked up and licensed by TBN (the world’s largest Christian television platform), not only for the US, but for Africa, and the UK as well.
“That said, although I am eager for the whole world to see this, I am really excited to share this with the UK audience, especially. I want people there to watch this series and become inspired by their own heritage. I want them to look at the series and say, ‘We have a heritage that we can claim and pass on, even to the next generation.’
“Each of the seven episodes highlights coming-to-faith stories from all over the UK. My hope is for the people of these regions to watch the Love Speaks series, both airing throughout this year on TBN-UK and with the director’s cuts streaming now on our website, and become inspired, reigniting a passion for God and his Word, the Bible.”
In preparation for a growing audience, with the prospect of filming 14 more episodes (21 episodes altogether, as donations come in for finance), Carl crafted a Love Speaks Masterclass, personalising and illustrating 21 ways we can recognise God’s voice. Also contained in the Masterclass eCourse, found at lovespeaks.today, are five outreach applications and a free 100-page workbook for individuals or small groups.
“We started with nothing, having launched everything by faith. As of 2018, through God’s provision, we now have the potential of reaching over 100 million people worldwide for the message and hope and of God’s love on the TBN networks. We have a book, a documentary series with both an original version and an expanded director’s cut, and we have a Masterclass eCourse. I cannot help but give all praise and glory to him. This was his idea. He started it. He funded it. Let me say, ‘Soli Deo gloria’ which is Latin for to God alone the glory.’ Also, for me, that phrase means that no matter what we’re going through, God is with us.”
And God was with him. In the autumn of 2018, Carl discovered that God kept his promise about his new calling, and that the cancer was in full remission.
Carl reflects on the last four years, and how he still counts it a privilege to be alive to share the message that Love Speaks.
“One of the things that I’ve learned in my journey is that even in times of uncertainty, God supplies everything we need. He gave me my wife who has stood by my side. He gave me love and encouragement, revealing that whether in days of sunshine or shadow, he is there, just as the great preacher, John Wesley, stated with his dying breath, ‘The best of all is, God is with us.’
“If I’m gone tomorrow, if this is it, and this is my last day to be alive, I want my story to be this: that I lived out every day to the glory of God, and that his presence was with me, even until the very end. Soli Deo gloria.”