Zam Khai, or "Khai", grew up as a street kid in Myanmar, Burma, where he constantly found himself playing soccer with the neighborhood kids. At a young age, Khai quickly came to the realization of his love for soccer. He wanted to do nothing but kick a ball and have fun with his friends. Throughout his childhood, his family moved time and time again and eventually ended up in Tulsa, Oklahoma. He began to play soccer for his high school team, where his passion for soccer grew even stronger. However, he admits, "I, unfortunately, didn't play my senior year because I made a couple of mistakes that I regret." Discontinuing his time in being a part of the high school soccer team, he only played soccer during his leisure time. After graduating high school, Khai chose to go to Oral Roberts University (ORU), where he not only pursued a Bachelor's in Worship Arts, but also had the opportunity to play on a D1 level with the soccer team for one season. While attending ORU in 2012, he came across a familiar face that he met a year ago: Bobby Parks (Founder of More Than A Game). Being the Missions Director at the time, Bobby quickly welcomed Khai and one of his friends, Sam. "Bobby saw potential, something different inside of me and Sam, and we're still here because of him," says Khai. Although Khai didn't know it at the time, THIS was where it all began -- this was the start of his journey with More Than A Game (MTAG).
Using his passion for the game, Khai started to play soccer through MTAG, where he found a community of his own. He shares, "There were moments where I felt completely different, growing up in Burma and coming to the states. If you think about it, your life completely changes because you're living in a new country and a new culture. MTAG felt like home. Being with a group of people who not only shares a passion that I've had since I was a kid but who loves and serves others well made me feel like I was a part of a family." After being involved in MTAG for several years and graduating ORU with a Bachelor's in Leadership Studies, Khai became the Training Coordinator and is now based in Tulsa, Oklahoma. He continues to serve with the intention of knowing that soccer is his ministry; everything in life should be used to glorify God. As it was previously mentioned, Khai made a few mistakes in high school that hindered his chances of playing soccer on a varsity level during his senior year. However, he wants to serve back by using MTAG as his ministry. Khai says, " MTAG gave me the opportunity to share the Gospel in the most creative way. We get to share the Gospel with the passions that God has uniquely given each and every one of us. With soccer being mine, I'm able to minister to others in this way. I hope players will learn from my mistakes. I want them to look back in a few years and have no regrets."
"if you could describe mtag in one word, what would it be?"
"I would say love. When Sam and I first came in, we knew nothing and no one, but Bobby showed us the love of Jesus through the game of soccer. He nurtured us, took us in as his own, and trained us up to be leaders. I'm sure that we both annoyed him at times, but -- in the end -- his patience and consistent love showed us that there was more to soccer. Soccer is more than a game. To me, soccer is love."
Soccer is more than a game; it's a lifestyle. It's more than a passion that we have; it makes us who we are. Read how God uses soccer in an unfathomable way to impact other people's lives. It's amazing to see life-change unfold one story at a time. This is your game, your story.