Michael Pharez | Lead Advocate

michael@theytriedtoburyus.com

Some people run triathlons. Others compose symphonies, design skyscrapers or become masters in karate. Michael speaks words of life. A Young Hispanic, Spoken Word Artist from Chicago who followed JESUS to Thailand and Burma to work with, and speak life into, the street kids of South East Asia. Many years ago Michael dreamed of renovating an old fire house in Bucktown, Chicago into a creative space for inner city youth. Little did he know that the dream was for youth in a different "inner-city" in the small town of Mae Sot, Thailand just minutes away from the war torn country of Burma.

In 1997, Michael went on to study computer engineering for 2 years at the University of Illinois in Chicago and finishing his degree in Business in NYC, but Michael knew there was more to discover. After some soul searching, Michael was re-awakened to his dream. His journey into the world began, experiencing countries like Turkey, Honduras and soon after a year long backpacking trip through South East Asia, Africa and Eastern Europe. Michael found what he was in search for and its been growing him ever since. He can't be buried..he's a SEED!

I AM

a son, a poet, a brother, i am a friend,  an advocate, a citizen. i am a Puerto Rican American who enjoyed & survived Chicago's streets for the better of 21 yrs. i am human-adventuring with the divine in places men call Thailand and Burma. i am a shooting star in my father's solar system. i am my mother's, arroz con gandules, greatest fan. i am a grand-momma's boy who survived cook-county hospital visits and CTA winter-hole-punched bus rides. i am a brother reared by 2 sisters in the wilderness of fashion and respect. i am a pentecostal who still raises his hands loudly-turned conservative quietly-turned mystic-turned student-learning to silence the noise on a walk with Yahweh. 

i am alive and becoming well, hopefully deep enough to hold enough water for those thirsty. i am a voice learning to mute - a play learning to pause - a fast-forward learning to slow down. i am you on your worst day-them on my best hour. i am the blackness behind the stars and the speck of shine that radiates. i am lost where HE finds and found where HE chooses. i am sober in your drunkenness and drunk in your soberness. i am lightly colored, but still heavily regarded as such & such. i am you in your critique and the criticism in and in between your lobes. i am the speck of A log in your eye. i am your hope. i am your struggle...your walls, your anger. i am colored by a brush so divine it blinds me to think that i could see...i am the right hand placed over heart beats that pump freedom into my veins.

i am refuge refugee.

 

IMG_0911.jpg

Mason Turner | Seeds Advocate

My focus in Thailand and Burma is to mentor, encourage, and show the children of Thailand and Burma that they have a purpose, that they are special, and that they have a SAVIOR and ABBA-FATHER who loves them very much. I’d like to introduce them personally to the GOD of my youth and share time, love, and energy with them. My passion is to see them receive education and to be given an opportunity to not only succeed in their adult lives but also to thrive.

13329335_10201748945442517_779866432770299249_o.jpg