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

New Letters: January 14, 2014 to October 29th

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 50 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 Letters

Huchfee reported that 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." On Earth Laura reported that Julia and Matthew Paul are still separated as Julia continues to be homeless. The judge continued Matthew Paul in foster care for six months!

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

October 1st

To our friends from Earth ... I was able to see Timus in the jail yesterday but only for a short time as the jailers are under orders from Zester to limit visitation with Timus and not to allow visits with Chihaysu.

Timus reports that Chihaysu's spirits are up as he has been speaking with the Mountain Youth leaders responsible for the death of Dustin. Chihaysu told them why Dustin felt so strongly about his faith. The youth state that they wish they had not acted without thinking when Dustin was killed. They asked if God and Chhihaysu can forgive them even for something as horrible as murder. Chihaysu says if they are truly repentant in their hearts, then he God and even Dustin in heaven will forgive them. He taught them the "Praise Him" song from earth. This has pleased Chihaysu greatly.

Timus stated that everyone, Chihaysu, the two Mountaun Youth and he, pray for us everyday. He asked about Rachaeling and I advised that she is safe with about 20 more days until Pontos' marriage decree becomes void.

Zester returned from exploring the mountain villages and is quite unhappy. He told my friend that he must find Rachaeling. He stated that only he knows that Pontos has been ill for a while. He is old and Zester feels that he does not have long to live - perhaps a 100 or so days.

Zester stated that if Rachaeling and he were married he would be viewed favorably by not only Pontos but by all of the people who loved Mattpaul and Sav-ed, as he would be married into their family. He feels this would give him an excellent chance to be appointed the next Ruler. He told my friend, "Rachaeling is kinda of thin for me but I chose her, not because I love her, but for the power this marriage will bring me. Once ruler, I can be with whoever I want." I cannot describe how furious I am with Zester.


October 4th

To all ... I have some good news. I spoke to my pastor at church and told him about Julia and Matthew Paul. He is speaking to a friend who knows someone who oversees government sponsored housing. He hopes that his contact will speed up the process for Julia to find a safe place to live.


October 8th

Dear Darren and Laura ... We have eleven days to keep Rachaeling hidden. She has been away for some time and Jonas and I will be going this evening to give Marcus a break as he needs to return home.

I tried to see Chihaysu yesterday but was not allowed to see him or Timus. Zester spoke with my friend and suggested going into North Woods to look for Rachaeling and my friend told him of the Hugapod sightings. My friend advised ... "If she was there the Hugapods must have her. I was told there was a herd of thirty to forty Hugapods, each twice our size. How will you overcome them". Zester replied that he will see if one of our inventors finished his creation of a new weapon. It is supposed to send a beam of light at an enemy and, if hit in the head, leaves them disoriented. Zester will consult with the scientist and then decide when and with what weapons to go to North Woods.

Now we need a new plan to protect Rachaeling. Pray for us, please.


October 10th

To all ... I have to tell you what happened when we went to Rachaeling's hiding place. Jonas knew the way and as we approached we heard drums beating. When we were on a small hill a short distance from the cave I couldn't believe what we saw.

There they were - eight of them including two small Hugapod children. Though children, they are still bigger than anyone in Caperston. The Hugapods made a semi-circle in front of the cave and began dancing. As the dance progressed occasionally an adult Hugapod stepped towards the cave entrance and made a gesture with his hand as if saying, " Come out". While they danced the two child Hugapods were beating on a large empty nut shell which vibrates as they dance. Marcus seemed interested but Rachaeling was terrified. The dancing stopped and the largest of the Hugapods approached the entrance . He stopped, gestured with his hands and said in a deep voice "Come out". Marcus looked shocked but comes out. He must have questioned as we did ... Hugapods can talk?

"Friend?" the Hugapod said.

"Yes", Marcus replied.



"We will protect" the Hugapod leader promised. Rachaeling then came out and the dancing began again. Jonas has pulled is sketch pad out and he is quickly sketching the scene.

Rachaeling joined the dancing and Marcus followed. Jonas was still working on his sketch when the Hugapods left. I am sending it to you.

Pontos's decree that Rachaeling wed will be up soon but we cannot take any chance she will be found by Zester. We talked about an alternate plan and Marcus suggested Chihaysu's mother. He will speak to her and return to advise. We felt the Hugapods would keep their word and protect us - at least for a little while. Jonas is remaining with Rachaeling and Marcus and I left - Marcus to see Chihaysu's mother and myself to discover what Zester's plans are and whether he will have the "light guns" he was hoping to get. I waited for Jonas to complete his drawing then left.

Forgive me for only thinking of ourselves here in Caperston. We do continue to pray for Julia and Matthew Paul ... that they will soon be reunited in a home of their own.


October 12th

Dear Huchfee - we are happy to hear that the Hugapods were not the fearsome creatures everyone assumed them to be but are actually friendly. We, like you are counting the days until the sixty day decree is up and it is only a few more days.

We have some good news and bad news. First the good news. Matthew Paul's foster parents visited our church with Matthew Paul. We were all so happy to see him and after the services we went out to lunch. Matthew Paul said that his foster parents have a computer at home and said he is following your story. He wants to join in and we told him - just send an e-mail to Tim at the website. So don't be surprised if you hear from him.

Now the not so good news - our pastor spoke with the minister at Darren's church. Their church is almost 80 miles away. On earth 80 miles will take quite some time to travel. Darren's minister stated that Julia is on a waiting list for a home. His church member, who knows someone on the affordable housing committee, states his friend was able to move Julia towards the top of the list but not to the top. Unless some new homes become available Julia may have to wait a year or more for some place for Matthew Paul and herself. Be sure to know that you are in our prayers.


October 14th

Dear Laura,

Ammed has been working hard to make money and repay the funds he stole. However, while working hard he has ignored his health. A lump appeared on his abdomen but he was so concerned with working that he did not go to the doctor. Now he has learned that it is life threatening and a very risky surgery is his only chance at survival. Even if he does so, his chances are small and he could die in surgery. Two days after seeing the doctor two new lumps appeared.

We met with Ammed and prayed for him - that he would make a good choice. After our prayers he stated that he felt at peace and will not have the surgery. He hopes to speak to Chihaysu and we are told that Zester will allow this tomorrow. He may not be aware that Ammed became an official follower of Chihaysu. We are all very sad. Ammed is a very good man.

I also learned from a friend that Zester is going to take some "light guns" and experiment with them. He says Hugapods would make good targets. He stated that are large in body, slow and easy to shoot at. We will warn them and have to move Rachaeling soon.


October 19th

Matthew Paul: you ask an interesting question. We know there are many similarities between Earth and Caperston but there are differences. Caperston is a smaller planet and mush closer to their smaller sun. So one year on earth is fifty years on Caperston. That is why they count their lineage in generations not years. However, the speed their planet revolves would determine the length of their day.

For instance, if their planet revolves slower than earth than their day would be longer than an earth day of twenty four hours. Their days seem similar to ours but I have never inquired how long they actually are. So I will ask Huchfee how many days are left until the sixty days are up and compare their date to our expected date of October 24th. Very good question, Matthew Paul.


Huchfee - how many days to go to the end of Pontos' decree?

Thanks, Tim

October 21st
Saving the Jailor

Hi Tim - we have 7 more days to go so I assume our days are a little longer than yours.

Let me give you an update as another amazing event has happened in Caperston. Ammed did get a chance to see Chihaysu and Timus. Two days later Timus was released from jail and told us what happened.

Timus reported that Ammed told Chihaysu "My life has been fulfilled by being chosen as your follower. The doctor says I have 40 days to live and already I hug my child, even though he is grown, a little more often; I have spoken to those who have hurt me and told them 'I forgive you'. I look at the sunset and recognize it is more beautiful than ever and I hear the birds singing a truly sweet song. I realize, as I have never realized, what a beautiful gift each day brings." Chihaysu responded that Ammed is seeing a little bit of heaven while remaining on earth. He told Ammed - as you have forgiven those who have hurt you so we forgive you for what you and your wife took. Then he gave Ammed a long hug. At that moment there was a shaking of the building they were imprisoned in. The shaking came and went then came again for about three or four minutes. It got stronger and, after one of the more intense events, the prison door broke open. The Mountain Youth, who were also imprisoned, told Chihaysu, "Come ... we can escape. You can stay in one of our mountain homes". Chihaysu said that he was staying and began singing the Praise Him song you shared with us. Timus joined in as did Ammed. Surprisingly, the Mountain Youth returned to their cell and joined in. When the shaking stopped, the jailor, who was responsible for Chihaysu and all others, returned and could not believe that everyone remained. He escorted Ammed out and returned to the cell. "Why didn't you leave?" he asked. Chihaysu replied, "We stayed for you."

"What do you mean?" he replied.

"We want you to know that we have faith in the Ruler you cannot see called 'God' and we want you to understand".

The guard replied, "I want to believe. What must I do?"

Chihaysu instructed, "Go tell your family and friends of what you have observed. When you do, you will feel the presence of God in your heart." The jailor agreed to do so, then closed the cell door.

When Timus told us the story we were amazed at the courage of all who remained when they could have escaped. We decided to also trust God and we will leave Rachaeling in her cave with the protection of the hugapods.


October 29th

Dear Huchfee: we have no new news about Matthew-Paul except that we now know he is safe with his foster family.

As far as events in Caperston are concerned, the days of the decree must be up and Rachaelling is now safe. Will she return home? How is Ammed doing?

At our youth meeting our leader presented to us an interesting challenge. We live in parallel universes and, although there are some differences, there is much similarity between Caperston/Romas and Earth.

The story from Caperston has some real similarities to the events on Earth 2,000 years (80 generations) ago. One example was the time Chihaysu spent in the desert with Cle-as (see February letters) and the time our Jesus spent in the desert and was tempted by the devil, an evil spirit/being on Earth. Our youth leader challenged us to describe the similarities and differences of these events for our next meeting and to find at least one more event that happened in Caperston that is parallel to an event in our Holy Book, the Bible. To make it interesting we will have a contest - boys against girls! I am looking forward to our next meeting.


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