Episode 10- “"HE NEVER STOPS WORKING" A Conversation with Amy J. Malay.”

Amy Malay is an author, a speaker, and a leadership coach. She is an Executive Director with the John Maxwell Team, a team leader and educator with Young Living Essential Oils, and a Certified Aroma Freedom Practitioner. In this episode, I interviewed her about her book entitled "He Never Stops Working" - a true story about her journey in sponsoring and becoming a mom to Jebastin, a young boy from India who lost his mother when he was five. An amazing testimony of hope, and a reminder of God's faithfulness as He is always working for His plans for us. 

Here are some of the things you can watch out for in this conversation:

  • 4:57 - How Amy became a mother

  • 10:46 - Connecting the puzzle pieces together

  • 16:00 - God's surprise party

  • 19:05 - How Facebook Messenger played a huge role in Amy's story

  • 23:23 - "He Never Stops Working" and its impact

I hope you enjoyed this episode as much as I did! Download your FREE GUIDE to Mindful and Energetic Living here, and subscribe to this podcast!

See you in Episode 11!

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Episode 10-

Mariana  0:00  

Hey everyone, welcome back. This is Mariana Thomas, your host. Welcome to the Mindfully Recharged podcast. And today in this episode, I am talking with Amy Malay. Amy lives in Mount Joy, Pennsylvania, here in the United States. She has served at a faith-based financial planning firm, Ambassador Advisors. She is an Executive Director of the John Maxwell Team, and a team leader and educator with Young Living Essential Oils. Amy has a passion for speaking and training in the United States and internationally. She especially enjoys sharing on topics about leadership, personal and spiritual growth. Amy is an amazing, amazing human being and I am super excited to have Amy with me today. A little bit more about Amy - she is the author of the book “He is Always Working”, and that is exactly what Amy and I are going to be talking about today. She's an amazing human being and this story is going to touch your heart and I hope that story will also inspire you. So without further ado, guys, let's get to Amy and I conversation. See you in this episode.


Intro Speaker  1:52  

Welcome to Mindfully Recharged with Mariana Thomas. In this podcast, Mariana brings you mindful conversations with people that will develop and recharge you from the inside out so that you can increase productivity in your personal and professional life. This is Mindfully Recharged.


Mariana  2:12  

Hello, and welcome, everyone. What is going on, Amy?


Amy  2:18  

Hey, Marianna, so excited to be here with you today and having this talk. You know, it's just so exciting to think about the book and the story of our book. And I just really appreciate having this opportunity to talk with you about it and to share with your listeners more of the story.


Mariana 2:42  

I am super excited to have you, Amy. You know if you guys were sitting right here with me, you can see Amy's beautiful smile. And I can tell that we both are excited to be here with each other. And it's a beautiful day outside. So it makes it even better. Amy, tell me what is going on with this book and how it all happened?


Amy 3:11  

Yeah. So you know, we started writing this book kind of unexpectedly actually. I was in India visiting with Jebastin, my son. And it was the first time we had met in person. And while we were there, one of my friends that were traveling with me, her name is Sarah, and she turned to me after probably only a day or two into the trip, she said, “Amy you need to write this down.” Because we were just realizing it was kind of like these wow-moments of realization of how much of a connection there was between Jebastin and I. And she was just like, “You need to write this down” And so that's what I did. I actually started writing the book, right then and there while I was there. That's how the outline got started and how we started talking about it. You know, really, we just wanted to share the story because we were inspired by it. And we just hope that the story inspires other people too.


Mariana  4:24  

Oh, that's so beautiful, Amy. Something that you just said just kind of touched my heart. And I think this will touch all the women's hearts in this world. And you say “Jebastin my son”, and it just fell so beautifully to me. So help us understand how Sebastian became your son? Like what is this story there? 


Amy 4:57  

So the story is - I’ve been a sponsor for Jebastin, my husband and I, both, for almost 20 years actually. Way back in 2003 is when I first learned of Jebastin and when I first got his picture in the mail through a child sponsorship program. And so we started writing back and forth. And all that time, I really just kind of considered myself to be like an aunt. And so all our correspondence was through letters. And, um, and this, the book is the story of how we met. And it's also the story of both of our lives and how there was this overlap during this time when we were writing back and forth. There were a lot of connections and overlaps in our testimonies that we didn't know until we met until we had a chance to actually talk in person. That's when some of the pieces started fitting together and how we realized how much of a connection there had been over the years. And that's also when I found out that Jebastin always considered me to be his mom, even though he called me auntie in his letters. He… in his heart, I was his mom the whole time. And because his mom had died a few years prior to when I started sponsoring him. And so, yeah, it was really touching. And another piece of that puzzle is that all those years, I wanted to be a mom. I never had children naturally, of my own. And so it was a desire of my heart that I always wondered, like, why? You know, why did I never have children? Even though I had a strong desire, that I wanted to be a mom, it wasn't a prayer that got answered in the way that I expected.


Mariana 7:14  

That was gonna be my next question, Amy, it was gonna be like, what made you decide to sponsors Jebastin? Especially when you received that picture of him, what was it about that picture? And I know you just mentioned, you want it to be a mother. And that I think is an amazing thing, because so many women out there who want to be a mother, who wants to have a son or a daughter, and they pray for it, but never happens. But there are all the ways. Obviously, we are experiencing that with you to become a mother. So what was it about this boy's picture? That gave you that decision?


Amy 8:09  

Yeah, I mean, his picture, of course, was adorable. You know, if you've ever been…you know, seeing the pictures of the kids that need to be sponsored. They're all just so precious. And at the time, when I signed up to be a sponsor, I didn't pick Jebastin because of his picture. I actually didn't see the picture until after I had already said, I had checked a box that said, you know, just send me the child that has been waiting a long time. Send me the child in the most need, right? That was what I requested. So I didn't like, see his picture and pick him because of the picture. But honestly, I felt like I just wanted, I wanted to help a child that needed help. And so I sent the form in, and then a few weeks later, his picture is the one that came to me. And, you know, at that time, I really wasn't thinking about it in terms of being the child's mom. I just wanted to make a difference. I wanted to help a child that needed help. And knowing that, um, you know, this would provide education for his food and clothing and, you know, just to support someone who cares.


Mariana  9:43  

That is amazing, as you were telling us that story, Amy. I was reminded by a trip to Costa Rica that I did. I believe was two-three years ago that we went with the John Maxwell Transformational Program. And we were brought to this place where there were kids. You know that parents were not present. And I was, I felt the same way with a couple of kids out there. And I just wanted to bring them with me, all the way to the States.


Amy 10:24  

Put them in your suitcase, right?


Mariana  10:25  

It's just amazing how, how we are called to this world to help each other, you know, so that’s a beautiful story. That’s a beautiful story. Now, Amy, tell us what is the why, for this book? What's the Why?


Amy 10:46  

Well, I think, you know, that really goes back to just wanting to inspire people and remind people to share our story, as a way to help other people feel inspired, maybe to give them a seed of hope, or to remind them of God's faithfulness, you know, I, I believe in God, I believe that He is always working. And that's why we named the book what we did, He never stops working, He’s working in our lives, even when we don't know He's doing something when we don't know He's working something out the way He's working out. And that's, that's what came to our minds. As we were realizing and connecting all the dots of our story, we were realizing that all along, all of these pieces had fit together, not because we tried it, right, we didn't do anything to make these pieces. We were pretty much oblivious to most of it. And it wasn't until later that we realized it. And I just thought, you know, when I think about the story of this book, and all these little connections that we made, I just think it's inspiring, you know, when we hear another person's story, it helps us to realize that the same thing is true in our own lives. We all have our own story, right? None of our stories are the same. But yet the same thing is true about all our stories. And that is, here's a plan, right? And God is working out all the details of our lives.


Mariana  12:42  

I too believe that so hardly Amy. And that reminds me - in January, I believe was January 1st, that I did this post on Facebook. And I posted “I dream, I believe and I received and I give”. And so as you were telling that story, that God is always working behind the scenes, even though we don't know it. There are things that are placed in our heart, that we dream about it. Right like you told me you wanted to be a mother for so long. You were dreaming about that. You were dreaming about that, then you believed in helping a child. You know that kind of fulfills in a way? Yeah, you would think it does kind of fulfill a little bit of that wish or that dream that I had? So you believe in that. And then you received your gift. You received your wish and your dream. And then you’re continuing to give because you gave this child a new life a new beginning. And you gave him a mother, which is the most important lesson in this story is that you gave him a mother and you became a mother.


Amy  14:15  

Before I even knew that I did. You know about that was the cool part of it. You know, one of the cool part of it is that, you know, when you think about what we do as mothers, we're nurturing, we're encouraging, you know, yes, there's the physical part of it when you're there physically with a child all through the years and you're providing food and shelter and, and hugs, right. But there's also another whole part of it, right? It's the part of our heart that connects with another person and provides encouragement and direction and support. And what I realized later was that through my letters, I was parenting him through my letters. Without thinking about it that way, I didn't think about it that way. I just, I was just doing it because that's what was in my heart right - to share. You know, that's what I ended up sharing in the letters to him.


Mariana 15:16  

Yeah, you were being a mother, without knowing in all that love and compassion and caring that you had you have had in your heart for this many years. You just poured that into him. And what a wonderful man he has become. So my next question, Amy, what is the lesson? What is the lesson learned by writing this book? What is the lesson did you - and maybe your husband as well - have learned about this book?


Amy 16:00  

Well, you know, I think, as I said before, I really feel like it reinforced in my heart, just the knowledge of God's faithfulness. And it really made me think about surprise parties. Kind of a funny little thing that I thought of, you know, when we plan a surprise party for someone, that person who you were planning to surprise, they don't know, all the planning that's happening behind their back, right? Behind the scenes, so to speak. We were planning, you know, the decorations and who we're inviting. And the whole time we're thinking, this is gonna be so good, they're gonna be so surprised. They're gonna love it, right? We're doing all of the planning for that person. So when they realize the surprise, they're filled with joy, right. And so that was one of the lessons that I feel like, I learned was just comparing our story to a surprise party, I felt like God had been planning this surprise party all along, and how much joy we felt when we realized this connection. When we were able to spend this time together in person, you know, it was only a week, but it was an incredible week of connecting and just getting to know each other better. And all these surprises that kept happening all week long as we realized all these different pieces of the puzzle as they came to our awareness. And even after the week was over, you know, we continued to realize things as we stayed in touch and as we were chatting, you know, on video chats and phone calls. And just texting, you know, like, there were lots of pieces of the puzzle that we realized along the way.


Mariana  18:11  

That is amazing. That is amazing. There's a cool story in how he found you through social media as to you guys that I'm going to share a little bit of story from the book. But I found this, this story really, really awesome because sometimes we had this love and hate relationship with social media, but sometimes it’s very important in our lives. So tell us what happened when you guys get separated for a minute? Because foundation through where you were supporting Jebastin, you know, they close the doors, and then you guys got this connection. But then something amazing happened. Tell us that story.


Amy 19:05  

Yeah, so we were not in touch. As I said, we were only writing letters back and forth. And when, when the child sponsorship center closed, there were no more letters. I didn't know if I would ever get another letter from Jebastin. I just didn't know. And so it was a few years later, I got a text through Facebook Messenger. He in his life, what had happened is he got to this point in his life. He had gone through a tough time. And then on the other side of that, he thought about trying to find me and so really all he had was my name and he knew that I lived in the US but He got the idea to search for me on Facebook. And that's how he found me. And he says, you know, when he typed in my name and searched, I think he says I was the third person down, and he knew right away, it was me from the picture. And then he sent me the message through messenger. And, of course,


Mariana  20:23  

What did he say in that message?


Amy 20:25  

I think he said something like, do you remember me, auntie? It's Jebastin from India. And, of course, I was thinking, do I remember you? Like, of course, I remember you!


Mariana 20:41  



Amy 20:42  

And you know, but I was also just, like, totally surprised. Like, that he found me like I said, I just didn't think I would ever know any more about him.


Mariana 20:56

It’s something really interesting is that he called you, aunty at that moment. But you, you have to go in and buy this book and read this story. Because you're going to learn something interesting to say, he, in his heart, in his mind, he always saw you as his mother. Now, in order for you to, you know, put the pieces together the story, you need to read the whole book. But I wanted to give you a really cool part of it. Because this was the part that was so interesting to me, is because of the hate and love relationship, that sometimes we create with social media, that social media can actually, if we use that the right way, can actually unify us. And in ways that we can’t imagine, like this one.


Amy  21:53  

And I'm so thankful to have, but you know, to live in a day and age when we can connect with each other from the other side of the world. So thankful for that.


Mariana 22:04  

It is amazing. Every time I think about this, I think about the days when you know I was growing up. And there's a little story that I'm going to tell the audience later, you know, your parents will go to work and you won’t know when - they're just gonna know when they're coming home, but you didn't know exactly when they were coming home. There was no way of communicating, you know, they left home and you just have to wait for them to get back.


Amy  22:33  

No, they didn't have any cell phones then.


Mariana  22:36  

There were no cell phones, there was no way. So this is a great story for later, but I was thinking about this the other day, and I was: Oh my god, what do we do in the world when there were no cell phones, there was no Facebook, there was no YouTube, there was none of that stuff. We now have at our fingertips, to communicate with people from all over the world. How awesome is that?


Amy 23:10  

Very amazing.


Mariana 23:12  

And that brings me to my next question. And is what does success looks like for this book?


Amy 23:23  

You know, that's a great question. You know, for me, what I love is hearing people give a comment or you know, send me a text and they'll say, “I just got done reading your book. And I was so into it, that I couldn't put it down. You know, I stayed up late, because I just had to finish the story.” Or they'll say how it impacted them. It helped to strengthen their faith or inspire them in a situation that was going on in their own lives. And, you know, so, in my mind, it's not about how many books we sell, right? It's about how many people's lives can be impacted. And yeah, fired by our story.


Mariana  24:19  

Exactly. And don't get me wrong. The only way they're going to get impacted is if they buy the book and they've read through it. So I do need you guys to buy the book and read it because I believe that lives are going to be impacted. Especially women, especially women, and of course men, but especially women out there that are thinking they will never be able to have a child and they will never be able to have someone called them “mom”. That is you know that could be it could be a dream for you right now, but it can also be a reality. If you just dream it, you believe it, you receive it and they give you that. That is my that's my four lines right there. That's amazing, Amy, I think that the way you describe what success means to you, for this book, obviously is touching people's heart and touching people's lives. That is amazing, that tells you right there, what kind of person you are, Amy, and I love you for that. So we're going to go into our next question, Amy, what is the next step for this book? What do we have in the store? 


Amy  25:48  

Well, you know, we incorporate incorporated questions into the book after each chapter. And one of our hopes is that maybe discussion groups or Bible study groups or small groups of any kind, you know, they might see this story as a story that they might like to read together as a group. And, you know, like you, I'm a Life and Leadership coach, and I love seeing people grow, right. And so that doesn't happen just by reading a story, right? The way the growth happens is by applying it to our lives, and considering what it means for our own lives, so just hearing a story doesn't really change us. But when we really can consider, okay, how does this impact me? How does this story change my perspective? Or? Or, you know, how does it inspire me to change something that I'm doing to make my life different? So the application is so important, and that's why we included the questions in the first place, because we really wanted our story, to not just be a story, it is definitely a really cool story. But we also wanted it to have that next level, where it could be discussed in a group, it can be individual as well, but I really think a group discussion is an awesome way to talk about and share with other people, our journey. And, and to really, you know, just get different perspectives, right, sometimes that helps us in our growth journey too, to hear from other people and, and understand their perspectives and what it means to them. Yeah, you know, definitely, that part of it, we see as a next step for the book. I also just love the idea, you know, if there are groups out there that you know, need someone to come and share, I would love to come either virtually or in person, however it works out to share more of our story. The book, it's limited, right? It's on a page, and there's so much more to it.


Mariana 28:23  

And it also to ask you the questions directly, right. So yeah, they will be able to find all your information on the show notes. So if anyone wants to reach out to Amy, you guys will be able to find all her information. But you said something very beautiful. And, you know, it's not just the story, but also how do I apply the lessons of the story? You know, what, how do I apply the lessons in this story? You know, there maybe - I am not being aware of things they are happening in my life, or how grateful Am I? Those types of things, you know, so discussions like that, I think it will be amazing for people who are looking for hope, for people who relate to this story, which I believe is an amazing story. You know, I had the opportunity to meet Jebastin and to have conversations with him. And I think it’s just, you made an amazing human being of help to grow to this is amazing guy now into a beautiful person, you know, so that's, that's co-creation between you God and in him, you know.


Amy 29:50  

Yeah, people in his life, you know, there there were certainly other people in his life that were helping to provide for his physical needs and I'm so grateful for them too, and for the opportunity now to get to know them a little bit, right. And now it's like I have this whole new family, part of my family on the other side of the world.


Mariana 30:10  

Yes, yes. Also, my bucket list to go to India. I am super excited about sharing this with the audience. And everyone, please check the notes on the show notes, get the book, get to know Amy, get to know Jebastin. Share the story, share with your friends and family, and most importantly, if you want to connect with Amy reach out to her. You have questions, how you know, how this story really, really transformed her life and her husband's life? Because, you know, we can only talk so much about it in this show. But I'm sure that you are wondering there at home, “I want to ask you a question about whatever it is.” So you had the opportunity to do that. Just, you know, check her out. Ask all the questions that you may have


Amy  31:15  

I would love to receive questions.


Mariana  31:17  

Yes, absolutely. What an honor to have you here with us. I just want to ask you, is there anything that you want to tell the audience before we close, that you may have in your heart right now?


Amy  31:36  

You know, the thing that popped in my mind when you asked me that question is, you know, to just don't give up hope, right? Many, many times. I wished to be a mom. And it wasn't happening in the way that I thought it would. But there was another plan that was being worked out. And, you know, I don't know if at the time I knew, you know, I didn't know it. I knew it wasn't. I know that I didn't know. But um, so that's my encouragement here, just as a closing right is don't give up hoping just keep, keep hoping. Keep praying, keep dreaming. Because, you know, those dreams that are put in our hearts are there for a reason. And we might not know exactly how it's gonna work out. But we can just keep hoping and knowing that we'll know eventually we'll figure it out. And we'll become aware of, of how it all fits together.


Mariana 32:48  

Beautiful. I love that. Amy, thank you for sharing your heart.


Amy 32:53  

Thank you for sharing this time with me. I love you. And I love all you're doing and working for. Thank you so much.


Mariana 33:05  

I love you too, lady. And I appreciate you being here today, opening your heart and sharing your story. And I'm sure that everyone is going to want to know more about you. So with that, guys, don't forget to go to the show notes and get all the information about Amy and about the show. And with that, I'll see you next week. Have a fantastic day. 


Closing 33:39

Hey, guys thank you for listening. I hope that you enjoyed this episode. And before you go, I want to remind you about the free Mindful and Energetic Living Guide. I want to give this to you, so all you have to do is go to the show notes and find the link right there. And it will be right in your inbox okay, so make sure you do that and I will see you next week. Have a fantastic rest of the day, bye!