CALLED by Marlena Fiol and Ed O’Connor

#1 Bestseller in Medical History and Social Activists!

A handsome physician. A devout Mennonite nurse. And an Argentinian activist. Welcome to CALLED…

Set against the backdrop of World War II, Nazi uprisings, political unrest in Argentina and Paraguay, and the scourge of leprosy left untreated, Dr. John and Clara Schmidt are called to a life of service in their fight against poverty, stigma, and social injustice.

But at what cost?

Based on true events that span six decades, CALLED is an uplifting and inspirational story of fearless adventure and heroism that celebrates the triumph of the human spirit persevering in the face of fear and rebellious subversion.

Some have a story. They had a mission.

CALLED is an expansive saga that brings to life the extraordinary contributions of two medical pioneers in the wilds of Paraguay. In their fierce determination to save floundering communities across the country, and to battle the stigma and shame of leprosy, John and Clara faced intractable opposition from many fronts: a medical community that rejected their unorthodox and revolutionary practices, governments that threatened imprisonment, and neighboring villagers who vowed to kill them.

Their story provides a living example of fully embracing John’s favorite scripture, “Do justice, love mercy, and walk humbly with your God.” Micah 6:8.

Readers who enjoyed His Truth is Marching On: John Lewis and the Power of Hope will love CALLED.

From the AuthorCALLED is the true story of Dr. John and Clara Schmidt, Kansas Mennonites who devoted their lives as medical pioneers in Paraguay, South America. The book was born out of a desire to bring to life the forces that propelled them from one risky service adventure to another and to publicize their extraordinary contributions, among them revolutionizing how leprosy is currently treated throughout the world.

The book’s depiction of locales, events, and characters is based on 740 sources, including published books, diary entries, journals, letters, and interviews with people acquainted with the Schmidts. The references to these source materials, as well as photos and other original documents, can be found at, an interactive site where we invite you to share your own reflections and/or experiences regarding the Schmidts and their work.Marlena Fiol, PhD, is a globally recognized author, scholar, and speaker. She is a spiritual seeker whose work explores the depths of who we are and what’s possible in our lives. Her significant body of publications on the topic, coupled with her own raw identity-changing experiences, makes her uniquely qualified to write about personal transformational change. She holds a PhD in Strategic Management from the University of Illinois and has taught on the faculties of New York University and the University of Colorado. Marlena is the author of Nothing Bad Between Us: A Mennonite Missionary’s Daughter Finds Healing in Her Brokenness and, together with Ed O’Connor, Separately Together and Reclaiming Your Future. Their latest novel CALLED is now available for pre-order. Learn more at marlenafiol.comEd O’Connor, PhD, is an acclaimed author and scholar. He is an inspirational speaker who has devoted himself to supporting others in identifying and removing the barriers to realizing their dreams. He considers every piece of writing an opportunity to share his insights with others, as well as learn more about his own transformational journey. He holds an MBA from the Harvard Business School and a PhD from the University of Akron and has taught on the faculties of the Universities of Georgia, Tennessee, Texas, and Colorado, as well as the Georgia Institute of Technology. Together with Marlena, Ed is the author of Separately Together and Reclaiming Your Future. Their latest novel CALLED is now available for pre-order. Learn more at

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