The staff and sisters took care of the children with all their heart and souls, and were supported and, in turn, learnt much from the children's innocense. They were often comforted by the children's gradual progress. The staff took turns praying before and after meals, but one day, a child who was eating before the others because he had to go out did not start eating even though the staff often encouraged him to do so.
After the second phase of construction, a lady from the U.S. military came back to measure each of the children, who were wearing only donated old clothes, and gave each of them a set of clothes to wear that Christmas. The children, who usually got dirty easily, seemed to be unusually quiet, as if their feelings were understood. The G.I. people also brought in a large freezer that they no longer needed at the base, which was filled with beef, ham, sausages, and tons of ice cream. In addition, we received donations that everyone had collected.
The study building, which was built in the second phase of construction, suffered two disasters: once, a fire broke out in the center of the room through a plastic curtain, probably caused by a boy who was interested in matches, and graphite was seen through the window. The second time was during the Ise Bay typhoon when the roof was ripped off and the entire study building was flooded again.
During the first evacuation drill, we had explained the drill to the children beforehand, but when the siren sounded, many of the children were scared and clung to the staff but could not evacuate. However, this gradually improved as the number of drills increased, and after about the fifth drill, the children were able to calmly evacuate to a designated place with the staff, which reminded us of the importance of drills.
In March 1959, the men's dormitory, Aisho Dormitory, was completed as the third phase of construction, and the capacity of the dormitory was increased to 150 students. The study group was enriched with work activities such as pig farming and retaining wall work for the boys, and agricultural work and handicrafts for the girls. The construction of a swimming pool, a pond, a lawn, an aviary, and other courtyard improvements, asphalt paving of two playgrounds, and the installation of outdoor playground equipment were also underway.
In August 1958, a new convent was completed on top of the mountain, and the novitiate in this convent was opened in March 1960. The sisters made their vows. As soon as the sisters took their vows, they were sent to Konohara Institute the next day. They learned a lot from the senior sisters and staff who were lovingly and cheerfully caring for the children. They helped the children with dressing and undressing, brushing their teeth, washing, eating, excreting, bathing, exercising, and playing while checking for any changes in their physical condition. We were struck by the loveliness and dexterity of each of these children, and felt responsible for the fact that God had entrusted them to us, so we clasped our hands together and prayed together.
I am the vine, you are the branches; he who abides in Me and I in him.
Just as the Father has loved Me, I have also loved you; abide in My love.