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Last month Phillip saw fruit of his faithfulness. He witnessed three people walking forward to commit their life to the Lord. They had heard a sermon taught by FOSA Elder Mike Stone that explained the way to get out of rock bottom was to follow Jesus. Mike feels that God healed him from COVID to deliver the message. “The Lord had this planned years ago,” Phillip said. 

 

Phillip’s joy serving at CUB motivates him to share his experiences. One post reconnected Phillip with a friend who expressed a desire to use his resources to benefit the ministry.  

 

“This is a businessman who can make a difference. Those little nudges remind me God’s in charge,” Phillip said. Over the years, Dianne has seen many people benefit from the support CUB provides.  

 

“Success stories are the ones who have accepted Jesus as their savior and have come back and gotten baptized,” she says. Phillip’s experience was helpful when FOSA pledged to provide CUB’s Thanksgiving turkeys and Christmas hams. The money wasn’t the issue, but supply chain disruptions made obtaining the meat difficult. Phillip and Monica traveled a route of four HEBs daily, checking out in two separate lines until they could gather the dozens of items needed.

 

“Every time I leave, I’m on cloud nine,” Phillip said. He’d love to take people “to experience what I’ve been able to see. With all the bad stuff going on in the world, there are some good stories out there.” Contact Phillip at 210-393-3300.

 

Potential names to include in cutline: He’s especially grateful for the young adults, Sydnee Satcher, Erick Alcala, Ian Barrios and Erich Valadez for being willing to help serve meals at Church Under the Bridge

 

Another potential cutline: Fellowship of San Antonio Pastors O’Brien Satcher and Dr. Royce Smith help Phillip Valadez deliver turkeys to Church Under the Bridge last Thanksgiving. 

Helping the Homeless

Good Neighbor Leads Team Feeding Hundreds 

By Amy Morgan

 

Who is your neighbor? The Bible has a lot to say. Verses like, “Look after orphans and widows in their distress,” and “give a cup of water in my name,” direct us to “love our neighbors as ourselves.” 

 

Phillip Valadez takes the Bible’s call to help the poor and downtrodden seriously. In October 2020 he agreed to spearhead the Fellowship of San Antonio (FOSA) church’s support of the Church Under the Bridge (CUB) ministry to those experiencing homelessness. Now Chairman of the church’s deacons, Phillip and his wife, Monica, have been FOSA members since its early years. 

 

CUB began 25 years ago when individuals with hearts for San Antonio’s homeless population began ministering to those living on the street from a location literally under the bridge of U.S. Highway 281 downtown. Caring people sought to meet the population’s spiritual and physical needs.  

 

The volunteer staff overseen by Executive Director Dianne Talbert work with partner agencies (including churches) that donate needed items, buy, cook, serve and clean up dinner on Tuesday, Thursday and Sunday nights for the participants, many of whom are regulars. 350-500 marginalized men, women and children consider CUB their church home, according to Dianne. 

 

As the leader of FOSA’s effort, Phillip is responsible for gathering a team on Sundays monthly to cook and serve the food. FOSA provides a worship team and pastor to lead the church service at 5 p.m., after which Phillip and the other volunteers distribute the meals they’ve packaged individually. At the beginning, obstacles seemed almost insurmountable.  

 

“I was in charge of getting volunteers to go,” Phillip said. “It was tough for a while, especially before the vaccine.” He describes leaving church after service at 12:30 p.m., knowing that although the team was expected downtown at CUB by 3, no one had yet agreed to accompany him. “I didn’t know what we were going to do,” he said. “But every time, by 1:15, my phone started blowing up with text messages and emails. After that happened three or four times, I didn’t worry anymore. I knew God had it.”