One80 Podcast Transcript
Episode 45: Faith Rekindled, Passion Awakened
Zam Muan, OneWay Intern Show
This transcript may veer from the original audio found here: https://one80podcast.com/listen/
Liv LeDuc: From complacency to passion, this is Zam Muan’s story. Growing up in Myanmar, he was lucky to be raised in a Christian family, but Zam still went through the motions without having strong reasoning or desire to do so. After an awakening of his faith, Zam’s passion for the Lord was rekindled. After a family tragedy, his renewed faith was about to be tested. Welcome to Zam’s One80.
Welcome, Zam. We’re so excited to have you on One80 for our intern show.
Zam Muan: Yeah. Thank you.
Liv LeDuc: Yay. We have 25 interns at OneWay doing amazing things this summer. I’m Liv LeDuc a student at Wheaton College and I’m honored to be hosting today’s show. Zam is also an intern and a student at Taylor University and we have interns doing every part of today’s show.
Interns: Yay! Go interns! Interns rule!
Liv LeDuc: So we like to start out One80 with a random question. You ready, Zam?
Zam Muan: Okay.
Liv LeDuc: So if you had an extra hour each day that had to be used for one specific purpose, how would you use it?
Zam Muan: I’d practice more music.
Liv LeDuc: Okay. I like that. That’s a good answer.
Zam Muan: thank you.
Liv LeDuc: All right, Zam, let’s just get right into your story. So can you tell us where you grew up?
Zam Muan: , I was born and raised in, uh, Myanmar. Sagaing Region
Liv LeDuc: where exactly is that on a globe? If you were gonna point it out to someone?
Zam Muan: Um, it’s in like Southeast Asia, border to India, China, and, Thailand.
Liv LeDuc: Okay, awesome. tell us the common spiritual beliefs of Myanmar.
Zam Muan: it’s, predominantly, Buddhist
Liv LeDuc: What don’t people know about Myanmar
Zam Muan: Well, Myanmar is very, uh, made of very diverse group of people with different, um, culture and different, languages.
Liv LeDuc: What was it like growing up in Myanmar?
Zam Muan: Well, one of the things that come to my head, At the moment is, um, it’s uh, it’s like a respect for teacher day. Like, um, we call it,
um, we all would, go to school on the weekend early, Then we all cooked like the home teacher, like help teach us how to cook and we all cook together.
Then we make a meal early in the morning. Then, we, Just have really good time with all our classmates and teachers and stuff like that. So it was really fun. I enjoyed it. Mm-hmm.
Liv LeDuc: Because you were talking about the different culture and you were saying that it was predominantly Buddhists. So tell us a little bit about your faith.
Zam Muan: Well, yeah, I grew up in a Christian family and mostly with, my grandmother from my mom’s side and she was very Christian and like, loved the Lord, follow God with all her heart and taught me a lot of things but I didn’t really have the relationship with the Lord. My grandmother and my aunt. They always send me to Sunday school on every Sunday. Never miss any, any of ’em.
Liv LeDuc: Just tell us how you were practicing your faith.
Zam Muan: So back in Myanmar, I didn’t, uh, like I didn’t accept Christ as my Lord and Savior yet, but I was just doing a lot of really good things that I learned from my grandmother.
And she was, she, like, they would send me to, church camps on the, every summer. It doesn’t matter what denomination it is, my grandma be like, oh, go to this, uh, this church camp.
We have this, you know, that like, and it, it’s all about God like, And um, she would take me to Sunday schools and she will, um, take me to church. And even on the sick days, I’d be like, grandma, I feel sick. I don’t think I can go to church. She’d be like, oh yeah, you need more Jesus. So, uh, we need to go to church.
So stuff like that. So, and grew up with a lot of, uh, really good Christian principles and she was my role model for sure.
Liv LeDuc: Awesome. So during this time where you’re just going to church just because your grandma wants you to, what was your view of Jesus and God?
Zam Muan: Well, I don’t really have any strong opinion on God really.
I’m just trying to make my grandma happy and like trying to make everybody happy and don’t really have very strong opinion on religion or anything, but I was just doing it for the sake of doing it.
Liv LeDuc: Yeah. as you became a teenager, how were you living out your faith? Did this change at all, or were you still just in that kind of season of complacency where you’re just going for your grandmother?
Zam Muan: Uh, most of my time in Myanmar , uh, if not all, it’s all trying to make my grandma happy and trying to live a good life that I thought it was good back then.
Can you tell us what it was like to be living in a Buddhist culture, but be a Christian?
Uh, yes. uh, one thing that I, learned is that they, um, really prioritize like good works.
Liv LeDuc: Like your good deeds will get you to, your good deeds have to outweigh your bad deeds in order to, um, uh, get into like the good place, or they call it heaven. Tell us how you came to faith and you came to find Jesus and have him mean something more to you than just simply going to church every Sunday or going to church camps, because your grandma was asking you to.
Zam Muan: Yeah. Um, so, uh, believe it or not, uh, when I become a Christian is also going to a church, a church camp. Um, I was going there with, uh, the wrong intentions. Um, I was going there to just spend time with my friends. Cause like all my friends are going to that church camp, so I was like, oh, maybe I should go with them, hang out with them.
That was the whole intention But the, the last day of the church camp, they were talking about the gospel. And I mean, believe me, I’ve heard the gospel so many times in my life. then, uh, suddenly, uh, it just hit and it makes me realize who I really am and how much we need God and who we are.
And, Like everything that I’ve heard since, like from, Sunday school, church camps and church services, they all started to click and I understood and I was like, I God, I want you, you know? I want you in my life and, be my Lord and my Savior, so that day I, um, I accepted the Lord of Jesus Christ as my Savior and Lord, and making my Lord, and we’re just worshiping.
Liv LeDuc: Yeah.
Is there anything specific, um, that was said at this retreat that started to make you understand a little more, like, oh, I need God, I need Jesus.
Zam Muan: Yeah, so the speaker was, sharing about how could we ignore, like the greatest news, the greatest gift of all, like,
Liv LeDuc: Hmm.
Zam Muan: how could you ignore this? And just like, understanding the love of God and the sacrifice that he made for me, and it was like undeniable for me at that point. Now. Yeah.
Liv LeDuc: Wow, that’s crazy.
Can you tell us what coming to Jesus again was like?
Zam Muan: So I accepted Jesus there as my Lord and Savior.
Then, um, I was worshiping and like more about who God is and understanding who I am without Christ and how he has make me clean. um, I opened my eyes, you know, and like they were like, um, the church band that leading us in worship.
And I was like, this is really cool.
I wanna be, I wanna be that, you know, I wanna help people to, um, connect with God and encourage people. And this has been really meaningful to me and I wanna help others. So that’s also when it started, when I started to, that’s when I, uh, my love for music has grown.
Liv LeDuc: Wow.
Zam Muan: Yeah.
Liv LeDuc: How did you feel, um, after going to that church camp, um, and you’d gone to church camp so many summers before and you had been constantly going to church. how did you feel kind of looking back on like, wow, I was just going to church. just because and now being like, I care.
Zam Muan: Yeah, everything that I did, Since, uh, when I was young, you know, um, those start to have meanings and my grandma raised me well with Christian principles and everything. So, uh, those started to have meanings and. I mean, it’s still, um, kind of like rollercoaster, but having that peace, knowing that Jesus loves me no matter what. It’s not my actions, but those makes me wanna be, um, more like Jesus every day.
Liv LeDuc: I love that. What were changes that you noticed about yourself, and maybe like about your personality or just about how you were living your life after coming to Jesus?
Zam Muan: Well, first of all, I know that I need Jesus and I need to, um, grow my relationship with him. So, there were really resources that I had from, um, the church that I was in,
and so like reading my scripture and praying, um, I’m not, I’m no perfect at that, but it makes me realize, how much I needed him in my everyday life
Liv LeDuc: Yeah, that’s great. Did your grandma grow up? A Christian.
Zam Muan: Yes, she did. She did. Mm-hmm.
Liv LeDuc: Okay.
Zam Muan: I think she was probably like the third generation or the second generation to be a Christian.
Liv LeDuc: Okay. That’s awesome. And were both of your parents Christians as well?
Zam Muan: Yes, they were.
Liv LeDuc: Here’s where we would talk about the rock bottom of your life. This doesn’t have to mean that you were on drugs or in jail or anything like that. Um, it can just be more of a faith crisis. So your faith got challenged. Can you tell us about that?
Zam Muan: Yeah,
I have a younger brother who is, who has special need, and he was, um, just a little weak and like he needed assistance on everything. Um, he has to be in the wheelchair going from like place to place. So yeah, me and him, we wanted to do music together and serve God.
Cause like we saw this one artist who loved God and he’s like a great guitarist. And me and my brother was like, this is really cool and like, That guitarist, his name is called, Chit san Maung, he would make concerts and he would do like his music skills, all that. Then, uh, at the end he would share like the gospel or like people who love like guitar, that’s like his platform.
So like, um, he would give lessons or something and like shared the gospel the same time. So me and my brother are like, oh wow, we’re gonna be like that. And so, yeah. And um, we pray to God and. Then God opened doors and somehow Make-a-Wish people, Make-a-Wish the team came to our place. Some, uh, then they asked what we wanted and we’re like, yes, God answered our prayer.
Isaac Maas: My name is Isaac Maas and I’m a OneWay intern from Taylor university. Checkout are amazing. One way young adults program by visiting our website. The link is in the show notes.
Zam Muan: we’re like, really happy. Then, uh, they asked what we want and we, we, like, we gave them the instruments that we want. then, um, my brother got diagnosed with, um, I don’t, I don’t remember the name of it, like the, the disease or whatever that, but like, since he had been sitting a lot since like, pretty much when he was born.
So like his vertebrate is like very, curved and like, it’s kind of like, presses a lot on his lungs and like he has like lung problems. And so, um, right before we get all the instruments, he went to be with the Lord.
Liv LeDuc: I’m so sorry.
Zam Muan: Yeah, it was, um, a little hard for me just. knowing who God is, like what we learned. Like why, why would he take away my brother from me, knowing that like him and I want to serve at like, church and help people worship and like play music to him and share about him. And yeah, it was really hard.
As hard as it was, God never forgets me. And, um, later I had to process and with the helps from my church and, uh, really, uh, great friends and family, I came to a conclusion that even in the hardships, God was still using that to encourage me and God makes me remember.
Um, the time that me and my brother were praying to get that instrument and the reason we wanna do it.
Liv LeDuc: Wow.
Zam Muan: yeah, it was now I try to, um, keep it on now to remember that, uh, why I do music and every time I, I played the instruments that we receive, I remember of that prayer that we made to God. And also remember my brother at the same time.
Liv LeDuc: Yeah. Thank you for sharing.
So your brother has passed away, um, and you were planning on pursuing music and worship to spread the gospel with him. what did you do after this? Did you walk away from your faith? was that just a big blow to your dream?
Zam Muan: Uh, no it’s not. Contrary, to that God has, helped me to get through that and helped me understand that, uh, the things that, um, he needed help with. Everything that he’s going through, he doesn’t have to go through anymore and he is just in a better place. And, he helped me understand that he also helped me understand the power of prayer.
And how we receive all the instrument and God provided what we ask for and it strengthens my faith. but sometime it does, feel a little hard. but yeah, it does, it does strengthen me. I did not walk away. Praise the Lord for that.
Liv LeDuc: Mm-hmm. How did the gift of receiving those instruments, impact you personally?
Zam Muan: so like having the instruments and at my place, I can practice any at any time learning about new songs about who God is and what we sing about those, um, really helped me to be, thinking a lot about, um, what the song says and just like encourage me in my faith while I’m learning that song,
Liv LeDuc: So what was your new mission, as you have the instruments now, but your brother has passed?
Zam Muan: Yeah. my mission’s still the same, to keep serving God at wherever he has, um, called me to, uh, whether it be at my, my home church, or serving at, uh, this Christian gathering by playing music or like doing tech or any way, any way I could serve. Um, the mission is the same, helping people connect to God and worship him for who he is.
Liv LeDuc: Yeah. How did you decide to go to Taylor University for college?
Zam Muan: Um, so, uh, funny thing I didn’t, I didn’t know a lot about, colleges or GPAs or SAT scores and anything at
all. And, since I’m a first time gen, college student, but somehow the Lord opened doors and, um, I was able to serve in many of the community. in church or like like volunteering, so I was able to do that.
So those open up doors to the scholarship for, um, community leader for the scholarship is called Act Six Scholarship.
Liv LeDuc: Okay.
Zam Muan: so like God opened the door and, um, heard about Taylor University from, um, that scholarship. And I checked out the school visited, and I just loved the fact that Taylor is nondenominational
Visited, I was there at one of the chapel time And next thing I know is that I was on my knee just worshiping. It’s like, Hey God, if you want me to be here, I think I love to be here and challenge my faith and, learn what you have to, um, teach me about me here.
Liv LeDuc: That’s awesome. Praise the Lord. Um, what is your major at Taylor?
Zam Muan: Um, I’m a music major.
Liv LeDuc: Wow. I love that. With your love for music and worship, do you have any long-term goals or dreams for that?
Zam Muan: yes I do. Um, I don’t know if you heard of International House of Prayer.
Liv LeDuc: Yeah.
Zam Muan: Yeah, sure. I wanted to open this, 24 7 prayer house in Myanmar because, um, I saw the importance of prayer, in my grandma’s life.
Um, that’s how she start her day off. And, um, it has make a, hard to point to God first.
Liv LeDuc: Yeah, absolutely.
Zam Muan: And also with, um, my younger brother, um, like the prayer that we did and how powerful a prayer it was, and just like getting to, um, like fixing our eyes on him and talking to him, that’s like really a crucial part of, um, I think, um, everybody’s life
Liv LeDuc: Mm-hmm.
Zam Muan: My grandma have given me some land in Myanmar. So, um, I wanna build a 24/7 prayer house, like similar to IHOP and people, there are a lot of people who are musicians and they don’t really have the, um, opportunity to play a lot.
So like they could use that, um, space to, for like worship people can use their, gifts to worship God and at the same time serving and people can come there like 24 7 I wanna the build something big there. For people, uh, with prayer. Again, you know, the same message that I got from my brother.
Liv LeDuc: That’s beautiful. Wow. Thank you for sharing that. How has your life taken A 180?
Zam Muan: Uh, my faith was complacent from, um, My grandma, but now it’s, uh, it becomes my own. it just something in me, like since the the Holy Spirit lives in me now, um, he teaches me, um, what to do and what not to do.
And, um, through reading his word, he has really encouraged me to learn more about who God is and, um, grow my faith and grow my relationship with him.
Liv LeDuc: Absolutely. Can you pray for the people of Myanmar in your native language?
Zam Muan: Sure. Let’s pray.
Liv LeDuc: Amen. Can you tell us, um, what you prayed?
Zam Muan: Yeah, so I was just praying, particularly for, everybody who is experiencing the military group right now. Uh, people who are, uh, just trying to make end ends meet and, live and yeah, there are a lot of people dying there right now. As even as we are speaking,
Liv LeDuc: We will put a link in the show notes for a Mission Network News story about what’s going on in Myanmar right now.
Zam Muan: Hmm.
Liv LeDuc: So for our last question, Zam, what would you say to others who are in the same boat that you were in experiencing that complacency, in their walk with the Lord and in their faith?
Zam Muan: Yeah. there’s so many things that Christ can offer and has offered me and know that your value, you’re loved by, um, God every time.
Liv LeDuc: Absolutely. thank you so much for being on the show today.
Zam Muan: Thank you. Thank you for having me.
Liv LeDuc: I’m sure your story will resonate with many others, and we are so grateful to you for coming and for sharing with us.
Zam Muan: Wow. Yeah, thanks for having me.
Liv LeDuc: You did so well. Awesome
Margaret Ereneta: Today’s sendoff features Ty Jones. She’s another intern we have from Wheaton College. We’re so excited that she wrote this sendoff in honor of Zam’s One80.
Ty Jones: My name is Ty Jones and I have written a spoken word piece for Zam’s story titled Out of Darkness Into the Light.
A story that may seem similar to others put is unique in its own way. God made everyone in his creation, but we all have our own story to tell. So as you continue to read, you should be amazed at this story. Yes, indeed. As it is not like yours, but a one of a kind creation,
Living a normal day-to-day life, wondering what the next day will bring. Living life on the edge, sometimes it feels like a dream, going about life the way I want to, not knowing what’s about to come next, but just taking baby steps.
Having a dream, wanting to make ends meet, exploring who I want to become, not realizing the obstacles that will come
living my life by baby steps is the way the Lord always by my side becoming my light and a dark world
telling me wise words of wisdom, not letting me fail while his words prevail. Coming to the Lord on my own time, not wanting my destiny to just be mine, walking hand in hand with the Lord, praying for my dream to come true. Living life to the fullest with family who I hold dear to my heart, to the absolute fullest.
Our dream finally coming true, then bam, I’m stopped in the midst of it all, watching teardrops fall. The devil trying to take over, but the Lord tells me to take cover. I still have a plan for you, my son. He says.
Everything I do is for a reason. Keep holding on and I promise your calling will come. Time goes on as I remember, Ephesians four, one through two. My calling is coming as long as I hold on. The Lord will not fail me. So I continue to believe and hold on, waiting for the Lord to show me the way. And as I wait, I continue to pray.
Worship and praise is what I do day to day. And I’ll continue this every day pursuing my passion and remembering Joshua one, nine. Staying courageous as the Lord says. And day by day I will obey. The Lord is my shepherd. Day and day. And I have answered by calling out of darkness into the light. Worshiping the Lord night and day, making him proud and hearing him say, well done my child.