IMG_0950

Be the Bridge could not exist without the many volunteers who give their time and energy to the work of reconciliation.  We are so appreciate of Tanya Rogers and her service as an Administrator for our Facebook group.  We are honored to share a little of her story and recognize her here:

Where is your BTB group located?

Austin, Texas

Tell me about your group.
It started in June 2018 and our group had 12 members.  We were made up of black, Hispanic and white members. We were couples and singles and ranged in age. It was such an amazing experience. God brought the perfect group of people together and though we have now finished the curriculum, we have moved on to doing other things together so that we can remain in contact and continue to grow together. I thank God for Be The Bridge. He has used it to help me grow in this season and find my voice so that I can be a better agent of change and help bring about the restoration that the Father wants in His creation.

How did you first get started with BTB?
Shortly after the election of 2016 I was lamenting some of the interactions I was having with many of my white Christian friends around issues of race an it’s role in politics. I felt lost, confused and very hurt. A friend directed me to the Be The Bridge Facebook group as a place that I might be able to find like-minded people who could encourage me and help me with perspective.

I have had an interest in reconciliation for a very long time. It is something that I have considered part of God’s calling in my life – helping people bridge the gap in relationship with one another and in relationship with God. To this end, I have lived a life that has attempted to exemplify this in personal relationships for many years.  So, it has been very natural for me to forge relationships across racial and cultural lines. It is something that is very close to my heart and it brings me deep satisfaction. Around the time of the campaign season of the 2016 presidential election, I had just returned to the US from living overseas with my family for 4 years and I was astounded at the level of racial angst around me and the supportive statements which were being given by Christians to what appeared to me was a clearly un-Christ-like candidate. As the election drew nearer I began to speak up regarding these concerns from a Christian perspective. I felt led by God that, in fact, I could not in good conscience remain silent.

By the time the election was over I was reeling from the shocking response of my previously close white Christian peers and leaders, and I felt lost and disillusioned. I was broken and bleeding. My heart was torn. During this time one of my white Christian friends reached out to me on Facebook and told me about a Christian-based group which focused on racial reconciliation. She thought that it might be a safe space for me and that I might find encouragement there. That group was Be the Bridge.

 What has your experience been like?

I joined the group and was amazed to find a community of people who were deeply committed to the work of reconciliation and were interested in having the difficult discussions, acknowledging the uncomfortable, tough truths, and transforming the world around them, beginning with themselves. I leapt right in and became an active member of the group for about a year. I found a community of people who helped me process through what I was experiencing and found language for what was going on inside of me and what I was seeing in the world around me. I grew in courage as I recognized that I wasn’t misinterpreting situations and I learned to speak about issues of racism with more clarity and confidence in my own settings.

Are you actively engaged in our Facebook group?

Yes, after I found the group I applied to be a moderator on the Facebook group and served in that capacity for a year. It was a rich experience, and I’m so pleased that I was able to serve in that way and learn so much from the other moderators and admins. Recently, I have become an admin on the Facebook group and it has been a wonderful experience. I joined the Facebook group before I ever became part of a local group, and in fact, my first experience with a local group was when my husband and I led one this past year.

{Interview conducted by April Thomas}

*The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the interviewee and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of BTB.