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See Below: Martyrdom in Caperston

New Letters: January 14th to May 23rd

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

May 1st

Alex,

Thank you for sharing your story of the homeless in your world. We in Caperston cannot imagine 400 hungry people as there are only 400 Valley People and 500 Mountain People in all of Caperston. Your world is such a bigger world. As I said in my last letter Chihaysu sent Marcus and Jonas to speak to the Mountain Youth to tell them there is a better way to solve their problems with Pontos than by fighting. They were met by Dustin, who, you will remember, shared his sandwiches with others at Chihaysu's Speech on the Mountain. (See chapter 7 of "The Chest of Visions")

When Marcus and Jonas arrived they realized that the demand for revenge was stronger than anyone imagined. He sent a message to me on his compol and I advised Pav-ed, who was also very concerned. Pav-ed asked me to take him to the mountain village under cover so that he could observe the situation for himself. We were told, a few day's later by Dustin's sister Angeling that Marcus spoke passionately about Chihaysu's message of trying to reconcile differences with Pontos, Zester and the powers of Caperston. Most of the Mountain Youth were not interested. Marcus tried a different approach pointing out that the wooden spears, though sharpened, were no match for the metal weapons of the police. If the youth initiate a fight, it will give Pontos and Zester an excuse to attack and kill them. Dustin joined Marcus - I am one of you, a Mountain Youth as is Marcus, and I must agree with him that fighting will make things much worse.

There is now a rumor that Zester suggested to Pontos to take every male mountain child and place them in an early age school house and then raise them to believe Mountain Children are inferior to Valley children. Once they are four feet tall, they can be returned to their parents. It is a rumor, of course, but Pontos does seem frightened by the determination of the Mountain youth.

After speaking Marcus and Jonas went on their way but Dustin kept encouraging the Mountain Youth to be cautious and resolve their problems by talking one with those representing Pontos.

Huchfee


Martyrdom in Caperston







May 5th

Alex and Laura,

I was unable to go with Pav-ed to the Mountain village due to work responsibilities. Jonas offered to replace me. What they observed as they approached the village was at first disheartening then painful.

Dustin was approached by two Mountain Youth as he was speaking with several others. Jonas stated that he ran ahead as the confrontation began and Pav-ed who was older was behind. Soon he was close enough to not only see but clearly hear what was being said. He heard the approaching youth ask the crowd that was gathered , "Who do you have faith in - the unseen, unknown God of this coward (pointing to Dustin)or those of us with the courage to fight?"

All the youth cried out, "we have faith in no God, but ourselves; we must fight!"

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. Then he kicked him on his side. Suddenly other Mountain Youth ran towards Dustin. They kicked him and he attempted to get up. For an instance he did then knelt down in prayer, calling out, "God, protect Caperston and its people and forgive my mountain brothers. They do not understand the actions they are taking."

Pav-ed had now arrived and in the distance they could see Dustin's sister running towards the crowd. A husky Mountain Youth then picked up a large boulder and hurled it towards Justin as he was kneeling in prayer. It crushed the back of his head and Justin lay, still on the ground. His sister Angeling arrived and was soon joined by Marcus' sister Dawnling and a short time later, Marcus. Angeling collapsed in tears holding her brother in her arms. 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?"

The two leaders and the youth that hurled the boulder quietly left and 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. When Jonas reported to Pav-ed what happened earlier, Pav-ed stated that he hopes there is a way to work with Dawnling and even Chihaysu to bring about peace. He has a meeting scheduled with Chihaysu regarding Chihaysu's mother's desire to be buried in the House of the Dead. He asked me to be present for the meeting.

Huchfee

May 11th

Hi Huchfee - I want to be respectful but must share my doubts. Your story is compelling and it is so similar to things that happened 2,000 years ago here on earth. For example Dustin's death is similar to that of a young man Stephen in a book of our Bible , The Acts. Stephen's death is observed in the background by a man Saul whose name is changed to Paul soon after. Dustin's assassination is observed by your Pav-ed who makes me think of Saul/Paul as both men represent the powers to be. Pav-ed represents the political powers of Caperston and Saul, to soon become Paul,represents the religious powers of his time.

But here is my problem and again, I wish I did not wonder but .... are you truly real? Are you from another universe or somewhere here on Earth telling a most interesting story?

Darren

May 21st

Darrin - thank you for writing and telling us of the man Stephen and the man Saul/Paul. We would like to learn more about them.

We understand how you must wonder about us. Sounds a little crazy, I guess, hearing from people in a different universe. Sometimes I wonder if your communication with us is also real. All I know is that the messages from Laura and Alex, supposedly from Earth, have given us all comfort, knowledge and courage.

Let me update you on the happenings in Caperston. After observing the death of Dustin, Pav-ed invited me to join him when he met with Chihaysu at Chihaysu's request. Also present at the meeting was the teacher who had expressed doubts about Chihaysu (see pages 71-73 in The Chest of Visions) and the young man, who considered leaving his home to follow Chihaysu, but decided he could not give up the comforts of that home to commit to being his follower (see pages 76-77 in The Chest of Visions).

Pav-ed began by describing all he had learned from his own observations and those of Jonas. He advised that, if the Mountain Youth were angry before, they are ready to explode. They have said they will make wooden spears and the next time they come to the home of Pontos, they will come in secret. There is a new banner up in the mountain village with one word, in red, on it. The word, in capital letters, is "REVENGE".

Chihaysu replied, "I have taught my followers to respect the rulers of Caperston including yourself, Pav-ed. But God has sent His Spirit to fill our hearts like the hearts of Dustin and Dawnling. If Caperston's rulers give directives that conflict with God's laws, we will obey the guidelines of our God." The teacher ridiculed Chihaysu, " Where is this God you talk about? Where was he when Justin was killed?" Chihaysu replied, "Pav-ed, your son Mattpaul was asked the same question and he replied that God is in the hearts of all who believe. Where do you think Dustin found the strength to stand up for his belief?" The young man then 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." Pav-ed thought for a moment then replied that he liked the young man's logic. He will wait to see the outcome of Chihaysu's teachings. He then listened to Chihaysu's request on behalf of his mother, that upon her death she be buried with her husband in the House of the Dead. Pav-ed stated that he would grant her wish.

Chihaysu left the meeting and visited his mother, who was very happy to hear the news, stating that knowing she would be buried with her husband is a great relief to her. She then stated, "I am not ready to die as I want to see you through your ministry." Within one day she began to recover from the AHD disease and Chihaysu now seems re-energized. Tomorrow he will visit the Mountain Village where Dustin was killed.

Huchfee


May 23rd

Hi Huchfee - Thank you for writing. You make a good point.Why would you not wonder about our communication to you. I guess we both have to take by faith that we are all real individuals in, yes, different universes. In our world we would say, "Awesome!!".

You ask about the man Saul whose name became Paul. Saul opposed Jesus' followers. Then he had a conversion experience and became the greatest missionary of Jesus' teachings. He observed the stoning of a young man named Stephen who refused to give up his belief in Jesus, similar to Dustin firmly standing up for his belief in God. Saul observed this event just like Pav-ed observed the death of Justin. It makes me think.

I will keep you in my prayers.

Darren


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


Read the entire story and comics at New Pathway Across Broken Highway





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.

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.

"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.

If read in its entirety, and considered prayerfully, "Chest of Visions" should be acknowledged as a significant step forward in Youth Group Study Guides.
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Book Review May 2017

May 3, 2017 by Mark and Frank D'Andrea, rating of 5 of 5 stars

The Chest of Visions, Secrets of Caperston, is a delightful fantasy of parallel spiritual universes; stories told from the warm-hearted perspective of youthful characters trying to navigate through life's great questions of what is the "most right thing to do" in the face of traditional mores, the meaning of life, and what is Heaven.

Mr Ferguson uses contemporary the medium internet correspondence viz a viz an even more contemporary - even futuristic - notion of a kind of "worm-hole" connection to an alternate universe where we find the people of Caperston living ironically similar spiritual experiences in relatively current time, to our historical biblical experiences on Earth.

More importantly, the young men and women of both Caperston and Earth encounter parallel life changing challenges, the nature of which cause them to search their souls and each other, to find the Way.

Mr Ferguson's Chest of Visions is an excellent story of what is and what can be for all of us but especially for young people - trying to find their way through life. His simple language in expressing rather weighty spiritual matters, like what is God and why do bad things happen to good people, is an ageless subject, The Chest of Visions, Secrets of Caperston, gives the matter a fresh perspective.

Mr. Ferguson has penned a thoroughly wonderful tale on the road to seeking the Light. This is a must read for anyone leading youth ministry. I highly recommend it.

For more information on "The Chest of Visions",

please click: Click: Reviews Chest of Visions