The Calling


Similar to The Kite Runner, The Calling is an intentional fiction to give voice to the voiceless of Southern Sudan. A novel that portrays Southern Sudan’s plight of war, oil, and power-conflict.



Author: Elizabeth Hankins

ISBN: 978-0-9782526-4-9

Dimensions: 5.5 x 8.5″

 Number of Pages: 420

Synopsis: Chicago Tribune columnist Mera Kaine has overcome tremendous abuse and pain—experience that’s made her a passionate champion of human rights. But when her best friend’s religious ambition turns to violence, Mera is left with a dark secret that keeps her running—right into the war-ravaged villages of Southern Sudan where she uncovers an epic conspiracy at the hands of a militant government and its sponsoring energy consortium. Then, just as unexpected hope finds her, Mera must choose between the life she’s always dreamed of and a final, deadly act that could help liberate a people.


  1. Lynn Fredriksson

    “Nothing — and everything — is sacred in this powerfully scripted and ambitious novel. From geopolitics to pandemic suffering, religious calamity to personal piety, The Calling wrestles with issues that forever unite and divide humanity. With equal parts dignity and censure, Hankins captures the tragedies of Southern Sudan — a realm of deep concern to AIUSA — and uses story as a call to action and advocacy. The effect is a restored conviction that one life, one person, really can make a difference.”
    -Lynn Fredriksson, Advocacy Director for Africa, Amnesty International, USA

  2. Mark Bixler

    “In this riveting and cinematic novel, Elizabeth Hankins explores the various forces people interpret as divine guidance, including motivations that remain half-hidden even to some who talk the loudest about heeding God’s will. She also introduces a courageous heroine who survives abuse to learn the true meaning of love and justice. The Calling casts dramatic light on immense human suffering that has unfolded in war-torn Sudan, the largest nation in Africa, largely out of the media spotlight. It is a well-written and fast-paced account of love, loss and resilience. It’s enlightening, entertaining and hard to put down.”
    -Mark Bixler, author, The Lost Boys of Sudan: An American Story of the Refugee Experience

  3. Brian McLaren

    “Elizabeth Hankins combines a natural storyteller’s instincts with strong dialogue skills — and she enlists her writing ability in service of a storyline that is not only intriguing — it is truly important. I think The Calling is a novel that deserves to be published and widely read. It will enrich all who read it.”
    -Brian McLaren, activist and author, A New Kind of Christian

  4. Faith J. H. McDonnell

    “Elizabeth Hankins’ novel, The Calling, tells the story of a courageous young woman, the two men who most impact her life, and her growing awareness of the role she has to play in rewriting the history of an entire country. It’s a story that portrays the reality of good and evil — from church offices in Boston to oil fields in Southern Sudan, and it traces the disintegration of the moral compass in one man and in the whole world’s lack of response to the suffering and death of over two million people that continued unabated for more than two decades. Finally, Hankins poignantly captures the dignity, courage, and faith of the Southern Sudanese in a loving tribute to a people who should never be forgotten.”
    -Faith J. H. McDonnell, director, Religious Liberty Programs and Church Alliance for a New Sudan, Institute on Religion and Democracy

  5. Joel Vestal

    The Calling will indeed call the reader to reflect on and respond to a world in need of hope and justice — yet with reverence and respect. Hankins’ narrative is a voice for the voiceless that entertains, delights, saddens and provokes, hopefully to action for the forgotten. This book will awaken something in all of us.”
    -Joel Vestal, founder and president, ServLife International

  6. Dr. Jerry Wiles

    The Calling will inform you about important developments in Sudan and this volatile region in Africa. Most importantly, this novel will captivate your heart. You’ll be inspired to take action and make a difference. Elizabeth Hankins has done an outstanding job and I highly recommend this book.”
    -Dr. Jerry Wiles, president, Living Water International

  7. John Burke

    “Elizabeth Hankins’ novel will take you on an unforgettable ride. Pages fly by as you travel up, down and across mind-jarring landscapes where abuse and redemption meet, where religious hypocrisy confronts the power of authentic faith — and where staggering injustice is finally met by two people who embrace the call and courage to help change it all. Powerfully insightful into human nature and the high costs of social injustice, this book will leave you a different person.”
    -John Burke, author, No Perfect People Allowed, senior pastor, Gateway Community Church, Austin, TX

  8. Peter Swann

    The Calling is gripping, a compelling story with the captivating flair of great fiction set against a real-life backdrop that’s so unfathomable, it, too, seems fictional. Yet in the age-old redux of art reflecting life, this book highlights decades-long tragedy and subsequent need in war-torn Sudan. Powerful and moving, The Calling is the type of book you never forget having read.”
    -Peter Swann, executive director, Aid Sudan

  9. Scott Harris

    The Calling is a must-read, combining fascinating characters, tight plot and a redemptive message woven with real-life geopolitical events. Kudos to Hankins for donating all proceeds of The Calling to relief and development efforts in the Sudan. Read the book for the story, open your heart to the plight of the Sudan while supporting its recovery. You can’t lose!
    -Scott Harris, missions pastor, Brentwood Baptist Church, Franklin, TN

  10. Dr. Steve Wende

    “It’s been said the best fiction depicts truth more accurately than any other form of writing. Case in point is The Calling, a story that leaves behind perspective on truths of our time, deep truths that simultaneously engage the mind and burn the heart long after the book is closed. Writing with a clear and compelling style, Hankins weaves a fascinating tale set in multiple locations while keeping a divergent cast of characters universally bound by the pains, dreams and longings that make us human. As she does, she explores the ways so many claim the name of God as they serve the desire for power and privilege. The Calling is a shrewd narrative that ultimately invites each of us to test the authenticity of our own motives, our own self-justifications, our own hearts.”
    -Dr. Steve Wende, senior pastor, First United Methodist Church of Houston

  11. Amazon Review by L. Bailey

    The Calling is an astounding novel. It is amazingly crafted, beautifully written, and completely compelling. Hankins shows very real insight into humanity-the best and worst of it, and weaves together a truly intriguing story which is based on true events. I couldn’t put it down! This is a most worthy investment of your time and money. Get it today!!”

  12. Amazon Review by Rebecca

    “I expected greatness from Elizabeth Hankins, and I wasn’t disappointed. I was most impressed by the exquisite characterization in The Calling. I found myself connecting on such a personal level with the characters as they grappled with their own humanity and responded to both the depravity and beauty in others. This book made me discover things about my own life and personal journey of faith and it challenged me to think. And in my mind, that makes a book worth reading.

    And if you didn’t know, the proceeds of this book will aid our fellow human beings who are living in oppression. Buy this book. Read it. Respond to it. Make your own difference.”

  13. Amazon Review by Clay Wisner

    “This book was recommended to me by a friend. I was pleasantly surprised by Hankins’ writing style and pacing. The book is a compelling story operating in two theaters with an eye-opening expose of the horrors of the Sudan set against the backdrop of a dark yet redeeming personal story of the main characters.
    The book does not fail to surprise at every turn, is very well written (I’m surprised that it is the author’s first novel), and packs a punch on two levels: the frankness and sometimes shocking twists and turns of the personal story, and the socio-political mess that is the Sudan situation.
    As my friend recommended it to me, let me recommend it to you!”

  14. Amazon Review by Jana

    “There are books in this life that are necessary to read. When the author successfully allows the reader to escape from their own reality, this is entertaining. When the thoughts of the author, as spoken through their characters, begin to be owned by the reader, this is brilliance. Elizabeth Hankins captures all of these standards for greatness in The Calling. You will not soon forget its story for it will resonate in the place of your soul reserved for beauty.”

  15. Amazon Review by Kaylee

    “This book was interesting and well written. Although fiction, it provides many facts and solid information about the crisis in southern Sudan. The characters are well developed. The writer’s voice adds depth and interest to the story line. My only criticism is I felt there was too much story and character development before the storyline reached the Sudanese conflict. I’m interested in reading her next book to see if the conflict is covered more intimately.”

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