Jehovah''s Witnesses were doing street work and placed some magazines with a man. At first, the fellow decided he would discard them in the next trash-can. He just thought he was doing the Witnesses a favor by buying the magazines. As he walked along however, he thought of a man he knew in prison; he would send them to him instead!So these magazines got into the hands of a man named Nekata, serving time on death row. He was serving time for multiple murders, and considered incorrigible. He was so mean and ugly that he would spit on anyone that came near his cell and he would shout out the worst obscenities at people. He would often take his cup and bang it against the bars and shout "kill me now, kill me now". Everyone hated this man, there were not very many that didn''t want to hang him themselves.Nekata had been in and out of prison all his life and he was only 29 years old. The only person that ever came to see him washis father, once a month, feeling it was an obligation.This was the man that got the Watchtower and Awake and read them. And something clicked. He noticed it could be obtained by subscription, so when his father came to visit him, he asked him for the money to get a subscription to the magazines. The father thought it couldn''t hurt him, and gave him the money. Nekata read them regularly.Eventually, the local congregation received a follow-up notice for the expiring subscriptions. The slip was given to a special pioneer, who went out looking for the address on his bicycle. He didn''t know Nekata was in prison. He went right past the prison, and couldn''t find the address, so he went to a guard station and asked if they knew where this particular address was. They directed him to go past the bushes, and to the tower down the road. "But that''s the prison" the brother says. The guards reply, "No, you don''t say! By the way, who are you looking for?" He says a man named Nekata.They both replied, "NEKATA !II" "Are you sure you want to see HIM?, they ask. This doesn''t dismay the brother, and off he goes up to the big gate, and asks to see the warden, and asks him for an audience with Nekata. Even the warden says "What do you want with the man Nekata?" The pioneer explains and is allowed inside.He has to go through heavy steel doors and gates and comes to this very thick door, with a small window about two and a half inches in size with wire mesh, just big enough to see the person on the other side. The brother starts talking to Nekata, and can tell he has been reading the magazines and seems to have a great deal of interest in them, so he offers him a Bible study. Nekata readily accepts it. So the brother begins to have a study with him every week.They have to conduct it with that thick door between them, though.Very soon Nekata begins to change into a different kind of person. He even begins to apologize to people he had previously spit upon and screamed rebukes at. He tells them he is studying the Bible and learning a new way of life, and he asks them for forgiveness and he would tell them a little about the kingdom.He would try to write to people he could not contact from his cell. He continued to make great progress each day, and this encouraged the brother studying with him, so much so, that he even kept the local congregation informed on Nekata''s progress. How would you feel if you had a study like that and then were sent away? That was just what happened, the special pioneer was sent to another part of Japan on a new assignment.So he went to the Fukuoka missionary home, and asked Percy Islop if he would continue the study. Br. Islop was delighted and went right over and resumed the Bible study. Nekata continued to read everything he could get his hands on that would help him learn the Truth, and he was making application of what he was learning.Finally, Percy went to the warden, and asked if they could study face to face. The warden said that this sort of thing is unheard of, as this manBut, the warden says, even though it is against all regulations, I''m going to let you study in the recreation center, next to my office. The warden had noticed the changes in this man, and that was why he allowed it, however, they had to have an armed guard go along with them.The first time they met face to face. Nekata just grabbed and hugged Percy, considering him a real brother, and tears came to both of them.
Every week they would study one hour, and during that time Brother Islop would also bring out a point from the Watchtower, Book Study, Service Meeting, Theocratic Ministry School, and the PublicTalk. So that hour was always jam- packed! The guard couldn''t believe his ears, he kept hearing Nekata make the heartfelt statements that a Christian would make.The guard became so impressed to see the changes in this man that he began to allow them an extra 15 minutes each week. He began to like Nekata and sometimes he would even allow them a little extra time.Percy began to look upon Nekata as a son, and a close bond developed between them. What did Nekata do with this new -found information?Well, he would watch the clock in his cell, and every time the hour came when the meeting would start in the local congregation, Nekata would stand at attention in his very best that he could get on death row, and would have his hair all combed back neatly. Then he would begin the meeting with the brothers, and he tried to imagine what songs they might sing, the prayers they might say, and all the different parts of the program. This was his pattern, and it didn''t take long to realize that Nekata had dedicated his life to Jehovah.He was also preaching to everyone on every occasion he could. So Brother Islop went to see the warden and asked if he could baptize Nekata. The warden said he didn''t see why not, they would just get some water and sprinkle it on his head. Then Br. Islop explained thatwas not the proper way to be baptized and explained that Nekata would have to be completely covered by the water, and then come up out of the water, symbolizing how he would in effect, die to his old way of life and come out of the water to a new way of life, like Jesus when he was baptized in the Jordan.The warden said that was a bit of a problem, but that they would have to find a way, because he had never seen anyone change so much as Nekata! So they had the baptism on death row, and they were ableto have a number of the brothers come in and witness it. There was this little ceremony and then they baptized him, and when he came up out of the water, he was so happy, he cried for joy. They didn''t know if there was more water coming from the eyes of Nekata and the-brothers than the water he was baptized in. It was a touching moment, and he hugged all the brothers. Now he was a baptized Witness!And you might think that was the end. But it wasn''t, because Nekata wanted to be much more. Now he was a full-fledged brother and he proceeded to thank Jehovah right there on that occasion.He wanted to do so much more but was limited in prison. So he wrote a poem, about the New Order, Jehovah God, and the Kingdom. He then entered it into a contest, and it won first prize. It was a beautiful poem.The winner was to go to the Governor''s Mansion and accept the award from the Governor himself. So they had to make a change in the arrangements; guess who went to death row? The Governor!But this only made more publicity for the poem. It was published, and many more received a Witness from death row by means of that beautiful poem.Nekata also began to study Braille and mastered it, then he took the Kingdom book and translated every bit of it into Braille, he worked night and day on it. He made copies of it, which the brothersDistributed, and people that were blind were able to learn of the Kingdom from death Row.The books even went to Korea by means of a district overseer, and blind people in that land were able to learn as well.Nekata would write le