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

New Letters: January 14, 2014 to September 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 March 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

During the month of June only two letters were received but the second letter was a shocker. Huchfee reported that Zester called out " You weak, old man, 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. Read below for more information on the impact of this crime... the murder of the second most powerful person in Caperston by a classmate of Huchfee!

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

July Letters

We learned Pav-ed did not die as follows ... "Suddenly he had a vision... of Mattpaul, who stated, "I am well father, in heaven. Will you now believe? Believe father. God has called you to be the new surprise follower of Chihaysu. Believe and you will be saved." Pav-ed called out, "My son ... I believe" .

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

August Letters

Much has happened in August. Most prominent were two things: the visit to Romas by Sav-ed and Jonas at the request of Princess Cle-as. Secondly there was the decree by the Ruler Pontos that he approved the request of Zester to take Rachaeling as his wife. The marriage must occur within 60 days of Pontos' decree and the thought is distressful to Rachaeling, who loves Huchfee and is not favorable of Zester at all.

The Good News of the month was the results of the Mattpaul Memorial Kickuml Game.


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

September 1st

Laura and Alex ...

To all our friends on Earth ... Rachaeling and I thank you all so much for caring. We wish Caperston was more like earth in regards to marriage choices. Men and women should be able to choose each other and not be subject to marriage decrees from the Ruler.

However, there is some hope as I did not tell you one thing in my last letter. When the Ruler makes a marriage decree in Caperston it is for 60 days. If the marriage does not occur on the set day (within 60 days) then the decree no longer exists. Marcus came to me with an idea.

We met with Chihaysu and others of his followers. Chihaysu called for an hour long prayer asking God to intervene. He stated that tomorrow he will visit with Pontos and state his opposition to Pontos'action. He will argue that marriage is only successful when God has blessed a mutually desired union. Rachaeling and I felt better that he will speak out against this order of Pontos.

First I must tell you more about the place North Woods I have referred to at times. North Woods is an area where a beast known as a Hugapod lives. Very few people have seen one but those who have state that there is a group of about twenty or so Hugapods living in North Woods. They are said to look like humans but are covered with hair and have small tails. The group of Hugapods has adults and children in it but it is not known if there are Hugapod families or if there is just one big group. Jonas states that he and his friend Andrew saw two Hugapods while travelling through North Woods when we were in the cold season. He said that they appear to have poor eyesight and he saw them constantly leaning over to smell the ground. Then they would stop smelling and start digging. When successful, they would find a small animal we call a mose about the size of my hand. Once found, the mose had no chance as hugapods are huge - twice the size of people - and this is how they were so named. They are also said to be very strong and Jonas saw one of them pulling out a mid-sized tree with his hands. Under the tree's roots were two more moses. He picked up one mose and immediately ate it even though it was alive. The other mose he took with him down a path in the woods.

Because of these sightings of Hugapods our people stay away from North Woods except to occasionally pass through as Jonas did - very quickly and only in groups. Marcus says because of this, North Woods would be a perfect hiding place for Rachaelling - until the date of the planned wedding has passed. Even Zester and the soldiers would not look around North Woods for her.

Marcus stated that one of his friends told him that he knew of a cave in North Woods. It was deep but with a small entrance - big enough for people to enter but much too small for adult Hugapods. Since it is deep, it is cool near its back and food could easily be stored there. The entrance to the cave is surrounded by very tall trees with bluish bark. We call them bluewood trees. It is a perfect hiding place. Marcus and his friends think it will take about ten days to get it ready and, with the wedding date scheduled for about fifty days from today, there is time to get the cave ready and to move two large rocks across the entrance to further protect it from any Hugapods who might come. My job in these ten days is to speak to Rachaeling and plan with her. I will also speak with Jonas when he comes home with Sav-ed from Romas. He is an adventuresome man who has been to North Woods and would assist me in bring Rachaeling to Marcus and his friends. Marcus stated that no one could stay with Rachaeling for more than a few days as it would look suspicious. However, he has three friends and they would all take turns staying with Rachaeling so that she never was alone. I stated that I would like to be part of the group staying with her.

Please pray for us - this could be dangerous but it is necessary.


September 9th

Dear Huchfee - we are all thinking of everything that is happening in Caperston and praying for you. You have beasts called hugapods that only a few people have seen. It sounds very dangerous and so many have already died in Caperston.

We have our own challenge as you know of our friend Matthew Paul, who is placed in foster care. His mother was seen by our pastor and the pastor overseeing the Soup Kitchen where we met Matthew Paul. The mother advises that she has done everything required of her except to find a permanent place to live with room for Matthew Paul. It is difficult to find safe places to live unless you have a good job and his mother is trying but has very little income.

She said she has to be in court next week (the 19th) and hopes someone can help so that a good report can be given to the judge. Our pastor said he will ask people attending church this Sunday if they can help or know someone to help. We have many things to pray for.


Teaching about Love

September 11th

Hi Laura - Chihaysu went to the center of town, in front of the House of the Dead and stated that he had an announcement to make. Several people came to listen and this is the first time he has given a speech in front of the House of the Dead. Ahmed, Michaeling and I were present and Chihaysu was very clear in the message he was sharing.

Chihaysu began by stating that love is a special emotion that comes from God and brings people together. There are different types of love. One type is the Godly love we all feel for each other. This Godly love inspires us to work for the good of all people in Caperston because God cares about all people.

Then Chihaysu stated that God created a special love - that unique feeling that a man has for a woman and a woman has for a man. This love is jointly shared and jointly chosen, ultimately leading to the lifetime commitment of marriage, a commitment through good times and trying times through times of illness and times of health. Only the couple can make this choice. While it is respectful for the suitor to ask the mother of the bride-to-be for her permission, this should be done after asking the bride-to-be of her interest. Pontos may be the Ruler but he cannot overturn God's creation of a union based upon a jointly shared love of man for woman and woman for man. Chihaysu stated, "Pontos, if you have any respect for God's creation, you will take back you decree approving Lester's request to take Rachaeling in marriage".

We were astounded that Chuihaysu spoke so boldly and worried about the crowd's response. At first there was silence. Then an elderly man, whom we did not know, began to clap. We joined in and soon everyone was clapping and calling out, "Bravo, tell Pontos to rescind the decree". I walked over to the man who began the demonstration. He told me his name was Timus and he had been listening o Chihaysu for a long time. "A wise man", Timus concluded, "a wise man. Look I recorder Chihaysu's entire speech on my compol and I know how to broadcast it to everyone - even people in Romas".


September 13th

Laura and Alex ... more prayers are needed. Pontos sent Zester to arrest Chihaysu for speaking out against him. We are told that he also arrested the man Timus for being the first in the crowd to clap for Chihaysu's speech. Pontos declared, "I am the ruler and there is no God to set rules that challenge my rules". With Chihaysu arrested, we need Sav-ed more than ever. There are now 35 days to the marriage of Zester and Rachaeling. We await Marcus' completion of the camp and the return of Sav-ed from Romas. Help!!


September 14th

Hi Huchfee - more problems for all of you and more problems for Matthew Paul and his mother Julia. You have thirty five days before the proposed wedding but Matthew Paul and Julia only have three days before the court hearing. Our pastor sent a letter to all church members asking if someone had an affordable place to stay. He then announced this need in church last Sunday. Alex and I were so worried that we stopped by the church to speak with him after school today. No one, not one person, responded. We have a fairly large church with almost 200 people in church on Sunday and 400 got the letter. No one can help! We youth would like to help but have no property and do not have much money. We are so disappointed. Someone should be able to help but no one but Alex, myself, andtwo other youth group friends seem to be interested.

"What will happen?" we asked. Our pastor stated that he did not know but he will go to court with Julia even though she is not a member of our church. This gives us some hope even when pastor told us the only program with affordable housing has a five year wait list. Five years! Matthew Paul will be 14. He and Julia cannot wait that long.


September 15th

Hi... We are so happy that Sav-ed and Jonas returned from Romas.The journey took three days but Sav-ed feels it was worthwhile. He advised us that Cle-as' father, King Fector, was interested in their account of a ruler over all - both Romas, the Valley citizens and Mountain people. Cle-as was disappointed that Chihaysu could not come. King Fector stated that Cle-as can only love Chihaysu and she will marry no one else. This creates a problem as the laws of Romas require the King or Queen to be married.

Sav-ed promised to discuss the matter with Chihaysu. King Fector stated that he may worship the God of Chihaysu if Cle-as and Chihaysu were married and he would, at their marriage, declare Chihaysu's God to be the God of Romas. Sav-ed stated that he cannot make any promises and the King replied that he is almost persuaded to believe. Cle-as joined Sav-ed in telling her father that she felt the presence of God when Chihaysu and she met in the desert sometime ago. The King looked at Cleas and said, "My daughter I want to believe but I have worked his whole life to have a prominent place in the House of the Dead. Would I have to give it up to become a believer?" Sav-ed stated that this was another question for Chihaysu.

Sav-ed was told of Chihaysu's arrest and his daughter's planned escape to North Woods. He ordered Jonas to stay behind and assist Rachaeling to go to North Woods. We are all concerned about the recently seen hugapods. They are over eight feet tall and the suspicion is they will protect their territory. An experienced leader to bring Rachaeling safely to the campMarcus is building is essential.

Sav-ed stated that he cannot reveal himself to anyone but we followers so he asked me to attempt to speak with Chihaysu about the questions of King Fector. I will not be able to do so for a few days. Sav-ed states he will wait one day in hopes that I can see Chihaysu but needs to return to Romas to advise of Chihaysyu's arrest. He advises that he trusts all of us, with the help of Jonas, will be able to protect his daughter Rachaeling when the day of her escape arrives.

Ammed took some money from the treasury to purchase needed supplies for Sav-ed to return journey to Romas. We will keep you aware of all that transpires. Wow!!


September 17th

Huchfee - I know I do not write as often as Laura and Alex but I always read your letters. I trust that you don't mind that I shared them with two friends who keep asking about the updates I receive. They want to write but we decided I will be the only one from our group writing.

So it seems many things are soon to happen in Caperston. Hope you find a way to see Chihaysu soon. The situation in North Woods seems scary with those hugapods. We all are waiting to hear Chihaysu's response to Princess Cle-as.


September 19th

Huchfee - our pastor went to court yesterday with Julia. It was disappointing. Julia still has no place to live except for city shelters. The judge stated that he had a good report about Julia's visit with Matthew Paul and that it went very well. However, he cannot send Matthew Paul home with Julia until she finds a permanent place to live.

The judge wanted to know what efforts Julia is making to find a home and she is so depressed with her circumstances that she said nothing. The judge declared six more months for Matthew Paul to live with his foster parents. The one good thing - our pastor met the foster parents and they seem "very nice".


September 23rd

Rachaeling's Escape

Laura - it is very sad that Matthew Paul cannot be with his mother. We brought it up at a candle prayer meeting at Michaeling's house. We try to have a prayer meeting every ten to fifteen days. As I stated sometime ago, some small amounts of money are collected at the prayer meetings and Michaeling provided me with six denare, half of the funds collected. The reason is to buy some food and supplies for Rachaeling's escape to North Woods.

Tonight is the night. Marcus stated the camp in North Woods is completed and should be a safe place to stay. Jonas and I will bring Rachaeling to the camp, meeting Rachaeling in back of the House of the Dead in the middle of the night.

When we enter North Woods we will meet Marcus and two friends. They know the path even at night. With the poor eyesight the Hugapods have, we expect to travel safety with the minimum light that our compuls can provide. I have advised Rachaeling and she states she is ready to go. She is very brave - showing no fear or worry.

Nevertheless, much of our prayer time was for Rachaeling and that God might continue to give her courage. We ended our prayer meeting with a second prayer for Matthew Paul and his mother.

I tried to find a way to see Chihaysu but he is not allowed any visitors at this time. Timus is allowed one visitor a day so I will try to see him after work soon.


The story continues click October Letters for the entirety of the correspondence received and published in October 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 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