They sleep at the bottom of the stairs, seeking the sunshine and warmth, and when a piece of fruit falls out of the bowl, they say, "Oh, it just walked away. When one of the sisters gave a warning to a resident, she suddenly pulled the string around the neck of her apron so hard that it became painful, but it seemed to be an expression of "I'm sorry". There are many happenings. One of the staff members inadvertently said, "Use your head to wash the dishes," and was surprised to see the resident suddenly put his head in the faucet. When I was looking for him, I got a call from the nearby Hotel Bellsanen, and he seemed to have enjoyed going up and down in the elevator. On a hike in the dormitory, when the bus arrived at a parking lot on the expressway, a patient from another dormitory who had gone out without permission got on, surprising both the resident and the staff. There have been times when a resident has gone out without permission, such as when we received a call that someone was walking on the highway and we rushed to pick him up, or when he rode his bicycle on the highway and was protected by a police car, or when a resident who wanted to go to the Kofu area was given a ride in a car by a stranger, who turned out to be a suspect the police were looking for. There is a story of a resident who was taken into police custody, and was thanked for telling the police what the suspect looked like, what he was wearing, and even what footwear he was wearing. During the school's daily activities, one of the residents we meet in the morning and evening is sometimes running around, sometimes sitting in the aisle, and sometimes leaning against a pillar, standing still. I can feel God's watchfulness over the entire school in the way he looks so at ease. Due to their various disabilities, they have their own crosses to bear, but they are "living their lives to the fullest". Their casual words, expressions, and gestures always give us healing and encouragement. In the words of Mother Teresa, "Be a vessel that brings joy to others.
Every Saturday evening, with the permission of the Bishop of the Diocese of Yokohama, a Sunday Mass is offered at the congregation’s chapel. Residents love to pray. "They often ask me, "Do you have a prayer today? They often ask me, "Do you have Omidou today? (I mean the Mass.) "They seem to have been given the gift of tongues. They may leave out the middle of the prayer, but the "Amen" at the end is perfect! It's very powerful. I think that the school is protected by the prayers of the residents. One day at Mass, one of the residents bowed deeply to the alter while singing "Thank You God" as the closing song. I wonder who taught them that "Thank you, God" means to bow down like this. I am sure it was God Himself, who lives in the hearts of the residents. They look like angels worshipping and praising God in heaven. The deepest mystery of the disabled people is the presence of God.
As the school is a facility for the handicapped, there are people who donate money from time to time. In 1991, a house was completed and named "Marianna Home" after the donor's baptismal name. Those who wished to come to the home could watch TV, have coffee made, have tea parties, enjoy karaoke and dancing. When residents are called to heaven, they are laid to rest in this home, and it is also the place where the staff and sisters pray and say goodbye to them.
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.