In 1988 four Christian brothers had been led to spend time in the USA. Two went to Hawaii first and then for a while the four travelled together.
Christopher Waldvogel and Paul Norman were based in San Francisco. Before leaving New Zealand they had gone to visit Len Talbot, a brother in Wellington New Zealand originally from Burma, who in his retirement from the New Zealand civil service had dedicated his life to the spreading of the good news about the Lord Jesus Christ.
Over a cup of tea Len asked if Paul and Christopher were believing to go to San Francisco at all. Paul replied that they were as the Lord had touched their hearts about it a few days before.
Len said that he and his wife would write to her auntie Phylis who lived in San Francisco and arrange for them to stay with her and passed over a photo of her and all the necessary address details.
Before leaving New Zealand God made it very plain to Paul to take an electronic typewriter he had with him, even though there was no clear purpose.
Arriving in San Francisco a few weeks later, Paul and Christopher found out from a taxi driver that the address that Len's wife Collette was writing to her auntie at, was not correct. And God helped through the Postal Service to find out where a letter going to the incorrect address would actually go to (as mail was getting through and being replied to).
Knocking on the correct addresses door they found no one home. A Greek gentleman living across the street eventually told them that Phylis was going each day to look after her daughter's child. Dazed after the flight from New Zealand and the overnight Greyhound bus from Los Angeles, Paul and Christopher prayed earnestly for guidance on what to do now, and the Lord clearly showed them to go to the back door and they would be able to let themselves in.
And so it was. Just off the kitchen was a guest room with towels on the beds, and fresh linen. Paul and Christopher crashed, waking up when a boarder and his wife came in and had a cup of tea with them. Eventually Phylis came home and greeting Paul and Christopher, learnt that they had come from New Zealand and made everyone some dinner.
After travelling around the USA with the other brothers and even spending time in Hawaii all together, seeing God do some marvellous things including healings, and people even getting baptised, eventually Paul and Christopher were back with Phylis in San Francisco where they had left some gear.
It was many weeks since Paul and Christopher had arrived at Phylis's, that the letter arrived for Phylis from Len Talbot in Wellington New Zealand announcing that Paul and Christopher were coming to stay with her! The letter had been held up by the Christmas mail closing in New Zealand.
Paul asked Phylis why she had had the beds made up and everything ready for them. She said that the Holy Spirit had shown her the day before they came that she was to make the guest room up, moving rubbish out of it and so on, she thought—as a part of the preparations for the eventual use of the house as a rest home. When she found Paul and Christopher having a cup of tea with her boarders the Lord had given her a peace about it all!
One day soon after Phylis said to Paul that she needed help on a project that she was trying to work on and believed in prayer that they would be able to help her.
She believed that she was to start residential care facility for senior citizens. For some time working with various consultants she had been trying to get the necessary approvals through from the State of California, but now she felt that she had reached a dead end.
Neither Paul nor Christopher had any idea about such things. Christopher was an industrial designer last working for the government's Ministry of Works in New Zealand, and Paul's last full time job had been as Coordinator of the Environmental Education Resource Centre housed on the Victoria University campus in Wellington. Neither thing lent itself to getting applications approved by the State of California for rest homes!
After much prayer Christopher and Paul believed to undertake the project. Paul asked Phylis if any friends or family had access to a computer that could be used for the task. Computers in those days were very expensive. And no one had one that could be used, so Paul brought out the electronic typewriter that he had believed to bring from New Zealand, it was able to save to a disk system which was going to make the editing of the various documents much easier.
Phylis supplied all the official paperwork and other documents that she had been working through. Over five weeks with the Lord's great help the three of them were able to come up with an appropriate operating manual meeting all of the requirements of the State of California, draw up all the necessary application additional materials and tutor Phylis in the whole thing so that she knew it backwards.
After Paul and Christopher had left California, Phylis filed her application and was initially turned down as they thought a professional agency had drawn it up. Eventually after orally testing Phylis the State decided that she did know the stuff that they wanted her to.
She was granted a license and opened the home named after her mother, May Rose. Under God's blessing and though Phylis's hard and tireless work, the venture was such as success that Phylis was asked to open another one on the condition that she trained all of the staff herself. And to Phylis's surprise it did all start making money. So Phylis asked the Lord Jesus what He wanted done with it.
Soon she saw a ministry looking after the homeless that needed space. So she ended up turning over a whole building to them to use. The she spotted a ministry working with teenagers, so she released another building for them to use.
In the mid 1990s Phylis came down to Wellington New Zealand to see her niece Collete Talbot. While in Wellington she was invited over to where Paul, Michael, and Phil Keelan were staying at Johnie Silich's in Berhampore Wellington for dinner.
Phylis took the opening to share with everyone present about what the Lord had done from such humble beginnings. Every one was greatly encouraged as to the leading and provisions of the Lord Jesus Christ.
Phillip Keelan later in 2006 went over and stayed with Evan and April Prosser who were the main members of the team ministering to the homeless in San Francisco, in one of the houses that the Lord made available through Phylis.
And in 2007 Paul and Michael were to get the opening to renew their acquaintance with Phylis and meet Evan and April Prosser.