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See Below: Chest of Visions:"a significant step forward in Youth Group Study Guides"

New Letters: January 14, 2014 to June 22nd

Beginning with an e-mailed letter one year ago, twenty two letters were received from young people in the far off land of Caperston. Twenty one were from a young man named Mattpaul and the last, received on December 10th, from his best friend, Huchfee.

Much has been happening in Caperston involving the teachings of a "prophet" named Chi-hay-su and the imprisonment of the writer of the first 21 letters, Mattpaul. The book, The Chest of Visions, records each of these letters, telling the story of Caperston, while reflecting on the way of life of its inhabitants. Now the story continues.

January Letters

On January 14th Huchfee reported that the situation in Caperston is of developing chaos. Three days ago Mattpaul's father called him in and stated that he did not know whom he can trust. On the same day Huchfee reports that Pontos plans to give Zester a new position - to supervise the palace guard and the police force of Caperston. Zester will now report directly to Pontos himself. Later in the month Jonas reported that Chihaysu had just left for the desert. It is an area that no one from Caperston has gone. He took water, a sleeping blanket and some books.

Lastly, Laura from New York, in the letter published on January 30th, asks Huchfee for the name of Mattpaul's father. He is such an important man in Caperston yet all the letters simply refer to him as "my friend's father".

Click January Letters for the entirety of the correspondence received and published in January 2014.


February Letters

In February, letters were received describing the meeting of Princess Cle-as of Romas with Chihaysu. She makes him a threefold proposition - see letter of February 10th. In addition, in the letter of Feb.26th it is revealed that Mattpaul's father is named Pav-ed and he has requested that the Ruler of Caperston, Pontos, appoint Huchfee to be the official "Youth Representative" in place of Zester, who was promoted to the position of overseer of the police.

Click February Letters for the entirety of the correspondence received and published in February 2014.


March Letters

In March, letters were received describing concerns. "Marcus visited the Mountain Village where he was raised and reports that the youth are becoming increasingly agitated." In addition,Chihaysu appointed a new follower, Annad, to watch over the funds that he and his followers have received as donations. Lastly, Michaeling led Caperston youth in a candle ceremony stating "When you pray, light your candle then speak with God. Let us see how bright the prayers to God will make this room."

Click March Letters for the entirety of the correspondence received and published in February 2014.


April Letters

Turmoil has come to a head in Caperston. Huchfee reports in his letter of April 7th that the Mountain youth were confronted by a group of the palace enforcers led by Zester. More specifically ... "Suddenly and without warning Zester called out, "Charge", leading the attack. The Mountain Youth had no weapons and began to run but the soldiers did not stop. The soldiers caught those who were not fast runners and began spearing them. We were told that ten youth were wounded and fifteen were killed. Seven of those killed were girls and Zester was seen stabbing two of the girls."

We are awaiting further news of the unrest in Caperston.


Click April Letters for the entirety of the correspondence received and published in April 2014.

May letters

The month of May brought great drama to Caperston ... "Another leader among the Mountain Youth called out, 'Then we will banish this traitor from our Mountain home. Go, traitor,' and he gave him a shove. 'Go live with your wretched Valley People'. He gave him a second shove and Dustin fell."

Shortly afterwards Dawnling cried out, "How could you do this to my and your dear friend Dustin. Don't you remember how you were all fed because he shared his lunch with you at the meeting with Chihaysu?"

In response the other youth became remorseful. They cried out, "We did not know what we were doing and now more blood of Mountain Youth has been shed." Jonas and Pav-ed were amazed at the influence Dawnling had over the Mountain Youth as their anger turned to repentance.

Later a valley youth spoke out, "Pav-ed, it is wise to listen to what Chihaysu is saying. If this God is within him and his followers, then we should respect this. If this God is simply something of their imagination, then the things being taught will soon become past memories."

Click May Letters for the entirety of the correspondence received and published in May 2014.


June Letters

June 2nd

Dear Huchfee and friends,

We are and will continue to pray for you. One of our members, Jim, says he feels motivated to write a song for all of you and, of course, for our youth group. But it is mostly for Caperston. We hope to hear it at our next meeting.

Laura

June 4th

Dear Laura,

We look forward to reading the lyrics of Jim's song. More is happening in Caperston.

As I last stated, Chihaysu visited the Mountain Village but, because of what happened to Dustin, precautions were taken. He met with the repentant youth and their parents at the town center. No one was allowed in and guards were placed at both doors. The youth and their parents were very repentant and Chihaysu told them the words of the man Jesus on the cross, "forgive them because they do not know what they are doing". One of the youth stated that Dustin, just before he was hit with the fatal boulder, prayed the same prayer.

The youth were very upset, particularly Dawnling who only appeared after the event took place. Chihaysu assured Dawnling that Dustin was in God's House and probably playing kickuml and that very moment with Mattpaul and Kevin. The youth overheard this and stated that they wanted to arrange a memorial kickuml game for Dustin. However, instead of being a competiton they want to mix the mountain youth and valley youth with half of each group being on each team. Chihaysu suggested that Dawnling contact Michaeling to arrange such a game.

I must state that the community center can become quite hot and, to air it out, a panel was built in the roof to be opened and release the hot air. It, as other buildings in the Mountain Village, does not have electricity. While Chihaysu was speaking, four men came, carrying a friend on a stretcher.

They asked to see Chihaysu and for him to assist with praying for their friend. They were advised that the meeting was for the youth and their parents and they would have to wait to see him another day. The men were determined. They climbed on top of the roof and lowered him through the open panel with ropes. When Chihaysu saw this he asked the man what he wanted. The man was very tired and could barely open his eyes. He was able to say that he had the AHT disease for many days and each day he was feeling weaker and weaker. He then said, "Chihaysu, you are a prophet of prayer. Help me pray for my healing." Chihaysu replied, "Your healing has already begun because of the faith of your friends and yourself. He turned to the youth and asked them to pray for the man's healing. After the meeting was over the four friends were surprised that they did not have to carry him home and, though still feeling weak, he was able to walk on his own. We have been told that two days later he was resuming his job as a fisherman in Lake Gael.

Chihaysu reminded us that sincere prayer is powerful and should be part of our everyday routine.

Huchfee

June 6th

Dear Huchfee,

Thank you for sharing your story of prayer. I have been thinking of the young man Laura and I were speaking to at the Soup Kitchen. He seemed so interested. We need to have the faith of the four men in Caperston and we need to pray every day for this young man�s health and welfare.

Alex


June 11th

Hey Alex,

It was good to hear from you and we hope that you will soon meet the child with the comic book again. Here in Caperston things are really changing. Pontos, upon hearing of the death of Dustin, is now convinced that he must take a strong controlling stand against the Mountain Youth. He ordered Pav-ed and Zester to travel across Lake Gael with soldiers to arrest the leaders of the Mountain Youth and the youth who hurled the rock which killed Dustin. Pav-ed asked me to accompany him as an observer.

While on the boat there was a time that the soldiers were downstairs eating. Only Pav-ed and Zester were on the deck of the boat. I was just coming up the stairs to the deck. At the bottom of the stairs I heard Pav-ed advise Zester that they must think carefully how to enforce Pontos' order to make the arrests. Zester's response was to take a strong stand, demand the three youth be brought forward and, with the soldiers present, threaten to arrest anyone else who did not cooperate. Pav-ed asked him to rethink this strategy and Zester became angry. "You weak, old man", he responded, "what good are you?" I had, by now just arrived on the deck in the back of the boat. Zester pointed his finger at Pav-ed chest and repeated, "You weak old man" then, suddenly pushed him backwards over the side of the boat. He was unaware that I witnessed what he had done.

It was just about dark and Zester walked downstairs and stated that Pav-ed was staggering about the boat and seemed confused. The boat rocked to one side and Pav-ed accidentally fell overboard. The soldiers all left their meals and ran upstairs but it was now dark and Pav-ed could not be seen. One of the soldiers mentioned that Pav-ed had expressed to him earlier in the day that he could not swim and that he hoped their journey would be smooth and without incident.

We are attaching a drawing from Jonas. He was not on the boat but when I described Zester lecturing Pav-ed , he drew the scene perfectly - just as it was. He is an amazing artist.

When we arrived at the Mountain Village, I departed as Zester took the soldiers to make the requested arrests. I encountered a friend of Chihaysu who took me to his mother's house and I am happy to report that she feels healthy again. I do not know whom I can speak to about what I observed. Pontos has full confidence in Zester and would not believe me if I described what I observed on that ship's deck.

Huchfee

June 22nd

Hi Huchfee,

I described the recent events in Caperston to our youth. Our friend Jim completed his song and, after hearing the latest from your world, stated he would write a new verse or two for our next meeting. All of our youth members wanted me to send you the lyrics. Sorry, we do not have the means of forwarding the melody.

The song is about Jesus and has several verses so I will today just send the chorus which reads:

Praise him ... praise the Lord our God

Listen to him ... his message is filled with truth

Follow him in everything you say and do ... praise the Lord, our God

Laura

The story continues ... click July Letters for the entirety of the correspondence received and published in July 2014.



Join the Correspondence!

If you would like to write to Huchfee of Caperston and/or to Alex of New York, it is simple. Write your thoughts in an e-mail to Timferguson@christianyouthgroup.org and your thoughts will be published in this story and probably responded to by Huchfee and/or by Alex.

New Book Review from Goodreads


Jun 16, 2013 ... Lee Ashford for Readers' Favorite rated it 5 of 5 stars

"The Chest of Visions: Secrets of Caperston" by Tim Ferguson is a well-reasoned, well-written, and intelligently conceived allegory for use as a Christian Youth Group Study Guide. It is bound to be considered quite "awesome" by the Youth Groups which use it, just as it is bound to be considered controversial or even blasphemous by older generations, which often comprise church leadership.

However, if it is recognized for what it is - an allegory - it should be seen as no more controversial than "Pilgrims Progress", which no doubt faced a lot of opposition when it was first released. It should also be conceded that ANYTHING which helps youth understand the Gospel better is a good tool to be used for that purpose.

"The Chest of Visions" is crafted as a totally new concept for involving today's youth in Bible study. Borrowing from the contemporary popularity of Science Fiction and Fantasy fiction novels, comics and movies, the author has devised a correspondence across parallel universes between several teen-aged individuals on two different planets in two different universes.

The correspondences are prompted by the appearance on the planet Caperston of what amounts to a missionary, spreading the Gospel message of Jesus Christ. At first glance, one might assume the missionary is intended to imply an appearance of Jesus on another planet, by which He intends to extend salvation to the residents thereof. That is NOT the case, however. The missionary, Chi-hay-su, repeats a number of Jesus' sermons, and selects a number of "followers" who seem as if they are meant to fill the role of the Apostles, but in reality Chi-hay-su has HEARD the Gospel himself, believed it, and is doing what he believes is the most efficient approach to reach his entire planet FOR GOD. If read in its entirety, and considered prayerfully, "Chest of Visions" should be acknowledged as a significant step forward in Youth Group Study Guides. It has my stamp of approval, for whatever that's worth.

For more information on "The Chest of Visions",

please click: Letters from the Past