Christian Comics are here ...
Trial of Chihaysu: Caperston Changes Forever
Chihaysu Travels to Romas: Sav-ed in Charge
February 11th: Zester Forgiven
Three Questions Answered: Dustin, Jesus, Future
The full story with comics is below ...
Beginning with an e-mailed letter on April 28th, 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.The Chest of Visions Book Two: New Pathways 'cross Broken Highways
We are overjoyed to hear of your vision of heaven and seeing your friend, Kevin, and Mattpaul there. The vision gives us courage and your description is of a spectacular place.
The situation in Caperston is of developing chaos. Three days ago Mattpaul's father called me in and stated that he did not know whom he can trust. Since I was Mattpaul's friend, he believes he can trust me. He no longer trusts Zester and plans to speak to Pontos, the ruler, about putting him on trial for carelessly allowing Mattpaul to die of malnutrition. He asked me about Mattpaul's sister, Rachaeling. He knows that she has listened to Chi-hay-su speak and has been impressed. He was almost in tears and said, "Huchfee, I have lost my son. I cannot bear the thought that I will lose my daughter too. Will she also leave to follow Chihaysu?" I only responded that I did not know. I did not tell him of the message from Mattpaul. "There will be three new followers of Chihaysu. One will be unexpected and at least one will be a woman." We all wonder. Will the new follower be Rachaeling, Michaeling or Dawnling? And who will be the unanticipated follower?
There are rumors in the street about the death of Mattpaul. Some say he was assassinated. Mattpaul's father told me that I am to say nothing and that he will handle the matter. People are wondering why there has been no announcement of a funeral and the usual ceremony. Mattpaul was the respected son of the second highest official in Caperston. Usually ceremonies of someone like Mattpaul would be well-publicized but this time there has been no public announcement.
I will let you know more and I again thank you for sharing your vision of heaven with us. We are all comforted by the hope of this beautiful place.
HuchfeeCaperston in Chaos
Alex and Tim,
We look forward to hearing from you and the events of your world. The teachings of Jesus, which you have shared, continue to encourage us in our growing faith.
There are new concerns I did not tell you about in my last letter. Last night Marcus met with us during a prayer circle at Michaeling's house. He asked us to pray for the Mountain Youth in particular. They are angry as they remember when Mattpaul spoke with them a few weeks before his death .They state that he was the only Valley Person they were sure cared about them. They have no faith in Pontos whom they blame for Mattpaul's death. Jonas was with Marcus at the mountain village and made a sketch of Marcus speaking with them. I am sending it to you. I hope you get it.
Marcus also told us of a rumor about Chihaysu. He had heard from a reliable source that Chihaysu was depressed over the death of Mattpaul and was planning a journey to an unknown desert beyond the mountain villages. Chihaysu confided that he is not sure how long he will be gone and he needs time to pray alone. They think it will be for several days.At this time we need Chihaysu to come forward and counsel us and not to leave us for the desert. Please write. We need encouragement.
Sketch by Jonas of youth at Mountain Village in Caperston received today. See below for the story...
To my Caperston friends: I am worried about your world and I will pray for you. I have faced worrisome times but I now know that God was always with me. He will be with you too. I want to let you know that we received Jonas' sketch. He is very talented. Also - this may seem unimportant but one of our members asked about the homes of the mountain people. They have no chimneys. How do your people warm your homes without a chimney to release smoke from furnaces or from fireplaces?
I went to our youth group for the first time since Kevin's death. I was anxious but everyone was happy I returned. Laura had already told everyone that I had a special story to share. Then I told my story and my vision of heaven and of seeing both Kevin and Mattpaul being honored by Jesus himself. All the girls and even two of the boys were crying. Even our minister seemed emotional. Everyone wants to know about your story of Caperston . I will pray every night that all of you in Caperston will feel the presence of God in the challenging times you are facing.
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.
Thank you for writing. I am thankful you found your way back to your youth group.
We are glad you received the sketch Jonas made. We agree that he is very talented. While meeting at Michaeling's home, Jonas reported that Chihaysu left two days ago for the desert. It is an area that no one from Caperston has gone. He took water, a sleeping blanket and some books. That is all. Jonas also reported that Chihaysu's mother, who lives in a mountain village, is ill with the AHT disease. This is the disease Dawnling had when Chihaysu prayed and the disease went away. But Dawnling was young and Chihaysu's mother is much older. Jonas is checking on her and, if she becomes weaker, Jonas stated he would leave for the desert to find Chihaysu and report that his mother needs him. We took some time to pray with him that God will guide himif he must make this journey. Marcus offered to travel with Jonas but he wanted to go alone.
Mattpaul's father spoke to me and made me swear to tell no one in Caperston what I will now tell you. He said that he went to the ruler Pontos and discussed the callousness of Mattpau's death, reporting that making Zester a trusted "youth representative" was a mistake. He recommended that Zester be demoted. Mattpaul's father stated that Pontos did not agree. Pontos spoke to Zester and found him to be a youth with potential to be an effective leader. However, Pontos recognizes the emerging conflict and 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. We are all surprised how much Pontos has elevated Zester, our classmate in school a year ago, to such a very high position in Caperston.
Mattpaul's father asked Pontos if I could replace Zester as his special "Youth representative". Pontos is considering this request. It is good to know that my best friend's father now trusts me.
You asked about the mountain people's homes without chimneys. There was a time we too needed chimneys but three generations ago our scientists discovered a way to make nuclear energy available in every home. We have a box about four times the size of our compols. It has a dial and we set it for "cool, warm or hot" depending on the weather. The box has wires that extend from it into the walls of our homes and the walls radiate warmth or coolness as needed. Don't ask me how this actually works. Mattpaul understood but, as you know, he is dead.
I look forward to hearing what is going on with your youth.
Hi Huchfee and Caperston friends ...
I am Laura, Alex' friend and I am glad Alex gave me the e-mail address for the Christianyouthgroup.org site to which you have been writing. After reading all of the letters going back for so many months, I am convinced that God has called a special group of you together. You are brave and dedicated and I am not sure I could be so brave. I will pray for you.
I have one question after reading the story in the letters. You speak of Mattpaul's father all the time but you have never shared his name. He is an important man in Caperston and we are sure his name is special. Please share this with us.
We will continue to keep you all in our prayers; I look forward to your reply.
LauraPrincess Cle-as: History Rewritten
Dear Alex and Laura,
Amazing things are happening. This is a long story and I can only forward a little at a time so it will be sent in three separate messages on three separate days.
Jonas returned with a long story to tell. He stated that he had much difficulty finding Chihaysu in the desert. After travelling all day Jonas sat down as it was getting dark. As twilight came he spotted a flickering light. He walked towards it and discovered a small campsite to the north. As he approached he realized Chihaysu was there.They greeted each other and Jonas shared the information about Chihaysu's mother. Chihaysu was saddened. He and Jonas prayed for her. Since it was late they lay down to rest. The next morning Chihaysu stated that he felt compelled to remain one more day in the desert as he became convinced, while praying, that an important revelation was coming. He and Jonas had a quick meal and prayed for Jonas' safe return. Chihaysu gave him a written message for his mother and then Jonas left.
Jonas left and after walking for some time sat down to rest. He checked his pack for Chihaysu's message and could not find it. Since it was for his mother, Jonas returned to Chihaysu. When he came near to where Chihaysu was meditating, he stopped. Off in the distance he saw an animal coming towards Chihaysu, an animal he had never seen. It was like a large goada but with longer legs, a bushy tail and a much longer nose. Seated on its back was a tall woman with long black hair that hung to her waist. The front of her black hair was colored gold and she was able to ride this beast which was running quite quickly towards Chihaysu. It ran faster than the fastest mobile in Caperston.
Jonas told us he stopped walking and hid behind a large rock to see what was happening. The woman slowed her beast as she approached Chihaysu, then stopped and stepped off the animal. In response Chihaysu rose from his seated position.
Jonas stated that the desert was without noise so he could hear all the words of their conversation. The woman greeted Chihaysu by name and introduced herself as Cle-as. She stated that she was the princess of the kingdom of Romas, which was further east at the other side of the desert. Cle-as stated that her spies had been following the events in Caperston and had told her of a wise and handsome man who had motivated the people to end the inequality between the Valley People and the Mountain People. Cle-as stated that she was impressed. Chihaysu asked how she knew the language of Caperston so well and Cle-as responded, "It is not I who learned your language. Rather your people in Caperstan are speaking the language of Romas".
I am sending you a sketch by Jonas of Cle-as arriving on the large goada. Hope it arrives. The story will be continued in a day or two.
Dear Alex and Laura,Cle-as Tells All
Cle-as then told Chihaysu an amazing story. The Kingdom of Romas had existed for over 100 generations. About 25 generations ago a small group of Romasians asked their ruler if they could journey across the desert to find a "New World". They had been farmers working on the ruler's land for a salary and wanted a chance to own their own land. The ruler, noting that the population of Romas was rapidly growing, agreed. These people journeyed across the desert, settled in the mountains and their descendants became the mountain people of today. Four generations passed and a group of Romasian scientists with a few wealthy allies attempted to overthrow the ruler. They were defeated and condemned to die. However, an appeal was made to spare their lives as there had never been an execution in Romas. The ruler agreed and sent them across the desert on their own. Upon crossing the desert they observed there were already settlements in the mountains so they continued, settling to the southwest of Lake Gael. These criminals are the ancestors of the Valley People. So all of you, Mountain and Valley people, are ancestors of my kingdom, Romas.
Chihaysu asked her to sit. Jonas stated that he could see that Cle-as was muscular, yet slender, and very beautiful. She dressed modestly, not as you would imagine a princess would dress. What stood out was her hair. It was long, down to her waist with steaks of gold above her forehead. In the back it was clasped with a silver clip on which was attached a red star. She told Chihaysu that her father was dying and, as his only child, she was the heir to his throne. Her father wants her to wed as she cannot become queen after his death without a husband. It is the law of Romas.
Cle-as could choose any man she wished and she had heard from her spies of a wise man in Caperston and it is a wise man that she was seeking. She stated, "Now I have found my wise man and he is handsome as well as being wise. Between your wisdom and the kingdom I shall inherit, we can unite not only the Mountain People and the Valley People but all of Romas. I shall be the queen and you shall be my king." Chihaysu did not know what to say. It was clear he was impressed with Cle-as. She continued, "I know you need time to think. Let us rest." She looked at the blanket and the rock next to it on which his head rested the previous night. "Is this where you slept my dear man?" Chihaysu responded affirmatively. Cle-as continued, "Come rest your head on my lap. It is more comfortable than this hard rock". A few moments later he lay by her side, resting his head on her lap. She occasionally brushed her hand through his hair.
Still to be continued.
Nothing more happened for several minutes, then Chihaysu sat up. He asked Cle-as, "My new friend, Cle-as, do you know of the God whom I serve?" Cle-as replied, "I have been waiting for you to tell me of him".Chihaysu then shared his story: the chest of visions he received, the prayer which led to Dawnling being healed, the prayer that caused the rain to cease during the contest with the scientist and the death of Mattpaul. Cle-as listened intently. She replied, "So you feel there is a ruler named God over all of us, you, me, Caperston, Romas?"
"I do, Cle-as", Chihaysu answered.Cle-as paused for a few seconds, then replied, "Then your God will be my God as surely as you shall be my husband." Chihaysu moved a small distance away, then asked, "Cle-as, do you know what prayer is?"
"I have heard that it is powerful", she answered. He then asked her to pray with him. He bowed his head as did she. Chihaysu asked God to hear his prayers and the prayers of "my new friend, Cle-as". He continued with his head bowed in silent prayer. Cle-as remained silent, head slightly bowed, eyes closed but restless. Jonas stated that he did not think she was actually praying. He also stated that the moment moved him and he quickly sketched them as they prayed. We are sending you his sketch.
When he finished, lifting his head, Cle-as spoke, "I must return to my country. You have asked me to pray and I have done so. Here is what I ask of you. First, you need to return to your mother. Ask people to join you to observe what you will do. Look your mother in the eye and tell her that you will pray for her and that she must believe that God will make her better. We in Romas have discovered that AHT is a disease of both the body and of the mind. If as diseased person truly believes that he or she will get better, then the mind will convince the body to fight and defeat the disease. Let the people see you take these actions so that they will follow you."
My second request is this: "believe in your heart that your God wishes you to be my king and our alliance to be the restoration of our planet. Commit yourself to work with me to make this a reality. Lastly, I ask you to pledge that you will love no one in this world more than you love me. In return, I pledge that your God will be my God, my dear Chihaysu". She stood up and he did likewise. She then stroked his cheek gently with her hand. She blew him a kiss, climbed onto her beast and rode away to the East.
Chihaysu watched as Cle-as rode away then sat down. He appeared deep in thought. So Jonas decided not to disturb him. He left him, returning to Caperston to share this surprising story. We all await Chihaysu's return.
You asked about the name of Mattpaul's father. Mattpaul always called him "father" and I continued to do so. His actual name is Paved, pronounced "Pav-ed". I will try to use this name when corresponding in the future with you.
Dear Huchfee ... just when we think the drama in Caperston cannot become more complicated, we hear of Chihaysu's encounter with Cle-as. Wow! We await your next letter with great interest.
In our world our lives are so different. We meet every two weeks as a youth group at church where we enjoy each other's company and do activities that challenge our faith. We all have a difficult time praying, particularly out loud in the group. After youth group we go back home to our lives of family, friends and school. Some are on sports teams and, when I am playing basketball, the success of the team seems to be the most important thing in my life.
All of you in Caperston are showing us that following Chihaysu's teachings and regularly taking your challenges to God in prayer are the important things. Thank you for inspiring us.
Hi Alex ... Before I tell you of the new events in Caperston, I want to ask a question. You often refer to something called a church. What is a church? Sometimes it seems to simply be a building in which to gather and other times it seems to be a holy place. We are interested in this thing you call a church.
Now I have an even more amazing story to share. After visiting his mother Chihaysu called us all together to tell us of his days in the wilderness. We knew of his meeting with Princess Cle-as but from Jonas not Chihaysu. Chihaysu called a meeting of the believers. He wanted to update us on what happened while he was in the wilderness the past four days. He did not begin by mentioning meeting Princess Cle-as to our surprise. We thought this is what he deemed important.
Instead Chihaysu shared something both exciting and very mysterious. It starts with the power of prayer and what prayer is exactly. Chihaysu stated that on his last night in the wilderness he had a dream. He found himself walking down a tunnel. A short distance down the tunnel there was a fork. He looked down the left fork and it appeared to curve to the left in a short distance. When he looked down the right fork, he saw it go on and on, seemingly endlessly.
His first inclination was to go left as he could see the turn ahead but instead, intrigued by the distance, he chose the right turn. He took a few steps then, suddenly a beam of light came from behind and, in essence, carried him down the tunnel and then dissipated. He looked up and saw a door a few steps away.
Chihaysu said he walked to the door and, in bold white letters was the phrase "Warning: unknown land ahead". Above the message was a small rectangle, about three inches wide and two inches tall. Over the rectangle was a hinge that could be pulled upward. There was no warning message on the hinge. Chihaysus heart was racing. He paused and thought "There is a reason I was brought here. There is no warning message on the hinge so looking must be safe". He raised the hinge.
As he looked through a glass enclosure under the hinge, he saw a world similar to Caperston yet different. There was blue sky and trees but the trees seemed taller. There was a path coming out of the collection of trees on the left and on it were people. There had small packs on their backs, and, upon emerging from the path, took the packs off and opened them. Upon opening his pack one person took out a clear bottle of liquid, drank some then shared it with a friend. They were talking to each other but he could not hear anything behind the closed door. Then he looked to the right, over a large rock that seemed to protrude into space. Past the rock there was a slight haze in the sky and, through the haze, he could see buildings, many buildings which appeared very far away. Chihaysu assumed that the buildings were tall, probably taller than the house of the dead, the tallest building in Caperston. He then looked again to the left at the path coming through the trees and he saw a sign "Bear Mountain Lodge ... three miles".
Chihaysu stepped back and again looked at the message on the door "Warning: unknown land ahead". He wanted to open the door and enter but questioned, "What if this world was not conducive to people from Caperston. Maybe we will not be able to breathe the air". Even more frightening was the thought, "What if the door only opens one way?"
Chihaysu stepped back, turned around, and, after a quick glance back over his shoulder at the door stepped forward. Upon completing two steps the flash of light reappeared, carrying him back to the fork in the road he had earlier walked to. Chiyasu once again looked down the two forks and this time took the left fork. Fifty steps along the left path he began to turn to the left and after a few more steps, he emerged into his campsite in the wilderness.
Chihaysu awoke from his dream and relived it over and over in his mind. He did not want to forget, as we so often do after dreams, any of the details of the dream. As morning came Chihaysu prepared to leave when suddenly he felt exceedingly tired. He thought to himself, "I did not get a full night of sleep. I will rest for a minute".
Once again Chihaysu fell asleep and had a second very vivid dream. A man was approaching him in the wilderness. He looked quite ordinary except for his eyes. There was a sparkle in them and he sensed that they were sending minute beams of light towards him, many small beams that, together seemed to say, this man has a message for you.
"So you have had a dream, my friend,"the man said. "You were in the tunnel."
"Cautiously, Chihaysu replied, "Yes".
"And you came to the fork in the road?"
"And you took the right fork, the road less traveled. Most people who come to the fork take the left fork. They are not daring enough to visit the unknown".
"Yes, I took the right fork", Chihaysu replied.
"So the beam of light came and took you through ... the man paused.
"Yes " my friend, where did the beam take me to?
"Oh, yes, Caperston does not know about wormholes.A wormhole is...
My friend, as you say, I know nothing of wormholes, even though we have a very learned scientist in Caperston. Where, my friend, where was it that I visited?
My dear Chihaysu, perhaps your scientist can tell you about wormholes some time. You wish to know your destination?"
Yes, I do", he replied.
Well, God, your Caring Creator, has found you to be an upright man. The first such man who has been given the opportunity to choose a destination for his future in a generation. The last such man was Jonton, a generation ago. You probably have heard of him. He chose the left fork and returned to Caperston. But you, my dear Chihaysu.
How do you know my name? Chihaysu responded.
Oh, yes, your Caring Creator always provides we, His messengers, with all the information we need to carry out his requests. So ... where were we?
You were telling me of Jonton and before that where it was that the beam of light took me.
Ah yes ... you saw the Bear Mountain sign but, I guess you do not know where Bear Mountain is.
No I do not.
And do you know what a bear is? Oh yes, God told me there are no bears in Caperston. A Bear is like a big fat, very furry beast with sharp claws, who likes fish. I'm surprised there are no bears in Caperston because there are lots of fish.
My good man, God has taught me the value of patience ... but I really am not interested in learning about a beast that does not live in Caperston. So please, what world was it that I was looking at?"
The man took a few seconds to reply. Then the sparkle in his eyes intensified. When Chihaysu relives hearing his answer, it still sets off a chill in Chihaysu. "Well, my friend, you were looking at ... earth.
Chihaysu sat down and did not reply. The messenger sat on a nearby rock. Several seconds of utter silence followed. Finally the man spoke. "God sent me to you after your experience to give you the message why you were given the privilege of seeing and even visiting earth, if you chose to open the door." Chihaysu, still uncertain how to reply, looked at the messenger but said nothing for about a minute. Then he replied , "because of Mattpaul and his friendship with the young people on earth?"
"Well, true but ..."
Chihaysu interrupted, "May I ask you your name?"
"Of course you may. I am surprised it took you so long. My name is Gabby, short for Gabriel."
"All right, my friend Gabby. Is it because of Mattpaul? I still feel guilty for not acting sooner."
"It was part of God's plan for Caperston. In the future people of Caperston will look back and remember Mattpaul as the most important person who ever resided in Caperston. More important than any king or queen from Romas."
With that recollection, shared with us, Chihaysu revealed the truth about his earlier encounter with Cle-as. But he continued, stating that the conversation with Gabby was even more important than his conversations with Cle-as.
Gabby continued, "In part it was for Mattpaul but mostly it was for the young man Alex from Earth. Do you remember Alex? He lost his friend who was killed while feeding the homeless. In his letter to Mattpaul on October 29th he states, 'I need a miracle. I need an inoculation of hope'. God took that as a prayer. You know you do not need to be on your knees to pray. Anytime you sincerely call out for help, God hears you. He also heard Alex's hope expressed in the letter of July 27th in which he wrote, "Chihaysu is looking for helpers. Full time? I wish I could be with all of you. I think I might sign up".
"So Gabby, I was sent to earth to ..."
Gabby filled in the request, "to be able to assure Alex when he comes to Caperston that it is safe to open the door. Would you find a place for Alex to join you?"
"I certainly will. When will this happen?"
"You need to meet with the youth Michaeling, who has been preparing prayer meetings with the Caperston youth. Have her schedule a special meeting but the purpose of the meeting should not be discussed. After the youth assemble let Michaeling lead a normal meeting, as they have been doing. Bring a candle with you. Partway into the meeting ask Michaeling if you can intervene. Light a candle and ask the youth present to watch the smoke of the candle. Then pray out loud for the well fare of youth from earth and especially for the youth Alex".
Gabby continued, "As you pray some youth will see a vision in the smoke and others will not. End your prayer and ask who saw the vision. These young people will be invited to a second, more intimate prayer session. Then let Michaeling conclude the meeting."
"I understand", Chihaysu replied.
Gabby further instructed, "Some time will pass which is not determined as yet. I will visit you again this time not in person but in a dream. I will give you the time to hold the next prayer session ... only with those who saw the vision. They are the youth who are truly praying. At this prayer meeting you will all pray for two things ... a safe journey through the wormhole for Alex and a wise decision when he comes to the door with the window. He will be given the opportunity to come to Caperston. Like you, when he arrives at the door he will be given the opportunity to peer through the window at Caperston and to open the door to enter. If the youth and yourself are praying hard enough that you want him to visit you in Caperston, then he will sense your prayers and open the door. If you are not sincere in your prayers he will probably turn away."
"We will very much want Alex to visit Caperston. For how long can he stay?"
Gabby replied, "The length of his stay has not been determined as of yet. It will be a visit and will continue until such time that Alex has a special message to bring back to the people of earth. God has a plan for Alex in Caperston as he did for Mattpaul".
Gabby rose to his feet and left. Chihaysu's mind was buzzing. In four days he had learned of Romas, met Princess Cle-as, dreamed of a visit to Earth and met God's messenger Gabby. He took a deep breath, pondering all of these things for some time, then rose to his feet. He picked up his pack and returned to his ailing mother, dumbfounded but spiritually refreshed.
Upon his return Chihaysu immediately went to his mother's home. He did not bring anyone with him, not even Jonas. We only know of this because he spoke with Jonas and Marcus the next day.
Chihaysu told them that his mother asked him not to pray for her. She is ready to join her husband in the House of the Dead. She asked Chihaysu to ask the authorities if this is possible. She told him that she believes in God but also believes that she should be with her husband. Chihaysu shared that this is a time of trial for him. His faith is being tested as never before and his days in the desert were revealing. He said nothing to us of Cleas and we, of course, said nothing to him. He asked us to pray for Caperston, for his mother and for himself. He stated that he left his compos at home because he did not want any interruptions during his time of meditation. We will meet again in a week and I am worried about Chihaysu. He is not the same since Mattpaul's death.
Mattpaul's father called me to his office. Pontos told him he can use me for special projects but he is withholding a decision to make me the "Youth Representative". I am sensing that Pav-ed is becoming more accepting of Chihaysu's teachings but he still refuses to believe in the God Chihaysu has spoken about.
Dear Huchfee ...
We had a youth meeting last night and several of us are reading your letters. They requested that I write to you. First of all, let me talk about what a church is. Yes, it is a meeting place and it could be called a holy place. Our churches are often decorated with symbols of our faith and, when entering the building we call a church, worshippers receive the feeling of peace.But a church can also refer to a group of believers. So just like we believers on Earth, those of you in Caperston are God's Caperston church. You do not have to have a building to be a church.
We have been talking about forgiveness at our youth meetings and how the ability to forgive releases us from anger. We learned about a group of faithful people who reached out to a wife whose husband murdered several of the children of their group. It was amazing to us how forgiving they were. It has helped us accept Kevin's death a little more.
We all look forward to hearing more of the events in Caperston.
February 27thHi Hutchfee...
My name is Brad and I love your story. I cannot wait to hear more of it. I trust your people will respond positively to what you have learned about your history and that the Valley People will no longer look upon the Mountain people as inferior.
I am wondering about one thing. Perhaps it is silly but I want to ask you. I just got back from skiing. It is a sport on Earth where we go down snow covered hills on long sticks about four to five times the length of our feet. These sticks, which we call skis, are securely attached to our boots we wear on our feet. It takes some time to learn to balance ourselves but now that I have learned, I have much fun going down mountains which are covered with snow. I have never heard you speak of snow. Do you have it on Caperston? It is, in essence, frozen water which comes down when the weather is cold in place of rain. It is soft and very white, very pretty when it covers the ground.
BradI-en Particles at edge of Universe
Hi Brad ... > It is so good to hear from you. We do not have anything on Caperston that is like snow. Perhaps it is because the weather here does not get so cold that rain becomes frozen as you describe it. It sounds wonderful and your sport - skiing - sounds like great fun. It is good to hear how our worlds are similar and yet so different.
We are learning so many new things. First Chihaysu taught us about the Unseen Ruler, called God then ... Do you remember the scientist with the Light Machine and the challenge he presented to Chihaysu - the test as to whether his machine or Chihaysu's prayers could stop the storm. (Chapter Eight of "The Chest of Visions"). The Light Machine briefly stopped the storm but then the clouds reformed and the storm worsened. Chihaysu then knelt down and prayed asking God to stop the storm. Shortly afterward the sun broke through the clouds and the storm was over.
The scientist is now reporting a special finding. He has modified his Light Machine to something he calls an I-en Machine. Instead of sending a light beam into space it is now a sensitive reader of light-type particles from outer space. He names these particles I-ens. They are microscopic. The scientist claims that there is a wall of I-en particles way out in space and he believes that these I-ens reflect light and heat back from all around the universe as if there is a wall of them around the outer portion of it. His machine is sensing these ien particles no matter which direction he points it. It is a major finding something no one in Caperston ever imagined. In just a short time we have learned about the Unseen Ruler, the origin of the Valley People and the Mountain People, ien particles and what you call snow.
I wonder how many more mysteries we will discover.
I want to congratulate your scientist for his discovery. It is significant as scientists on earth believe that the universe is expanding. If there is an I-en shield around the universe reflecting heat and light back to the center of the universe, then, even when expanding, these life sustaining particles remain and will not infinitely spread to doom the future existence of life itself.
You ask what our Bible has to say. There is no mention of I-en particles or anything like them. However, our Bible, at the very beginning, talks about a universe that was "without form" as well as being "void" and "darkness was upon it". What changed everything was the creation of "light" by God. I am not a scientist but it seems this means that light is what makes all the difference. God appears to have created an expanding universe with a shield to keep the light within the growing universe, at least the universe Caperston is a part of.
I am interested in hearing about any future discoveries by your scientist. May God guide him and all of us in the work ahead of better understanding the two worlds in which we live.
March 4thDear Laura and friends,
Thank you for sharing the forgiveness story and for telling us about the two types of churches. It is nice to know that we are the church of Caperston. Chihaysu met with his nine remaining followers two days ago. I showed him your recent letter and he was interested how the people were able to forgive when people were unfairly killed. He then told us that he struggles deeply with his mother's decision to be buried in the House of the Dead with his father. He has been teaching that the welfare of the soul after death, not the actual burial place, is what is important. However, after much thought and prayer, he remembers advising Mattpaul to honor his father and mother. Likewise he will respect his mother's wishes and petition Mattpaul's father, Pav-ed, to consider his mother's request even though she is a mountain woman.
We have other concerns. Marcus visited the Mountain Village where he was raised and reports that the youth are becoming increasingly agitated. They are planning to get together to walk around Lake Gael to Pontos' residence. As you know they were making posters with drawings and sayings on them, demanding to know what happened to Mattpaul. When Mattpaul was alive some of the youth doubted his sincerity. But when he died for his faith, they knew every word he stated was true. He did love the Mountain People. In death he has become their hero.
Michaeling is getting some of us together for a prayer meeting tonight.I will write back soon.
The beginning of this story is found in "The Chest of Visions: Secrets of Caperston". Lee Ashford of Readers' Favorite writes ...The Chest of Visions 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.
It 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, 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."
For more reviews of The Chest of Visions, and purchase information click ... Reviews Chest of Visions
Alex and Laura,We had our prayer meeting last night. Michaeling organized it and invited all 28 students who graduated with Mattpaul to attend. She also invited Marcus. 22 of the 28 graduates came.
Michaeling began by sharing her most vivid memory of Mattpaul - of him waving from the boat with Jonas and Levi before the storm. Her second remembrance was of kneeling by the plaque at his grave which read, "Mattpaul ... God and all those in the mansion of God ... know how faithful you have been ... and how you have brought light into our world". She stated that his faith gave her faith and she believes that he has not died in vain. She introduce Marcus as his best friend amongst Chihaysu's followers. Marcus began with great energy. "God has called us together to remember one of our friends, strong, caring and faithful. Mattpaul believed what Chihaysu is teaching and was brave enough not to compromise. May God fill each of us with similar strength. And with visions of a better and more equal Caperston".
The youth clapped and Marcus continued, "Mattpaul and I went to a mountain village and spoke at a school. The youth questioned Mattpaul's sincerity and asked, "Where is this God that you speak of? Why does he not come to speak to us himself?" Mattpaul did not know what to say but later he and I prayed for an answer. We later spoke to Chihaysu who advised, "God does not come himself because he is in the heart of every believer". Mattpaul used to say, "We believers are God's light of love in the world."Michaeling then spoke and said that we have much to pray for. She gave everyone a candle and said, "When you pray, light your candle then speak with God. Let us see how bright the prayers to God will make this room." Fourteen of those present lit candles and prayed. Marcus then concluded. "God ... give us both determination and patience. Change may come slowly but we believe it will come because it is your will for Caperston." After he finished the lit candles were blown out, one at a time. Michaeling's candle was last. Before she blew it out Marcus stated, "Our friend Michaeling was the first youth to be baptized by Chihaysu. She will lead the Valley Youth by her gentle but determined ways. Leave your candle burning as we leave this place." She did and we all marveled at how much light came from her one candle. It brightened the room with hope and determination.
Dear Huchfee, Michaeling and friends,
We had our youth meeting last night and I told everyone of the events in Caperston. Our group was very interested in the prayer exercise with the candles. We will try it at our next meeting.
We are going to keep you in our prayers, not only in our youth meeting but every day at our homes. We look forward to hearing that things are improving and that the Mountain Youth and Valley Youth will find a way to work together for change.
Oh, by the way ... tomorrow is the championship game in basketball for our league. Alex starts on the team as a guard. He is one of the team's best players and we are all so excited."
Laura has been sharing with you so it is now my turn. She also told you of our championship basketball game. It is a game of shooting a ball into a round metal circle, ten feet above the ground. The circle, which we call a rim, is just a little bit bigger than the ball we are shooting so we have to practice a lot to be able to make these shots.
I did play and the game was close. With two minutes to play the score was tied. The other team was very tall and they were hard to stop when it was their turn to shoot. They scored twice and with one minute to play, we were behind by four points as they made two shots. You get two points for a close to the basket shot and three points for a shot quite a distance away ... 17 feet.
Being down by two baskets with a minute to play was challenging. We had to score quickly and play good defense to get a second chance to score. At this point in the game I was shooting well and the coach drew up a play for me. It is called a backdoor cut. I do not have the ball and another player holds it. I run towards him and my defender follows. Then I stop and suddenly run to the basket. My friend Toby had the ball and, when he saw me cut to the basket, he threw a perfect pass to me over my defenders head. In this way we scored two points in a very short time and we were losing by just two points.
Then we had to play defense. The rules say that the team with the ball must take a shot at the basketball circle in thirty seconds or the ball goes to the other team. There were 37 seconds to play so we knew if we played good defense we had a chance.
Our opponents held the ball for 25 seconds then took a poor shot that missed. We then got the ball with nine seconds to play and our coach called time out. We got together and made a plan. The ball would be passed to me and I had nine seconds to move the ball up the court on which we played. Our coach decided to go for a long shot, a three point shot to win, rather than a two point shot that was easier but would only tie the game.
I had scored 24 points, more than anyone else on the team, and our coach thought the other team would put two players on me. That would mean someone else would be left alone. My friend Toby, who was part of our youth group, was a good long shooter. I dribbled the ball (bouncing the ball as I ran) and was able to get near the basket even though two players were guarding me. But it took seven seconds. With two seconds to play I saw Toby all alone in back of me. I could have taken an easy shot to tie the game but passed to Toby.
Toby took a long shot with one second to play. It looked good to me . It hit the circle we call a rim and bounced up in the air. It seemed to be in the air forever. It fell towards the circle and just hit the metal rim, bouncing straight up again up above it. I jumped up a tipped it with my hand into the circle. The ball went through. Everyone cheered - the score was tied. But then the judges of the game got together and decided that my tip was too late. The game was over. Toby and I were heartbroken.
We thank God for Laura. She came down from the stands where she was sitting watching the game. When she got to both of us I saw a tear drop down her face. "It almost went in Toby ... It almost went in not once but twice. Your shot was a good one. The three of us hugged, not realizing that most everyone was watching. The players on the other team let us hug then shook our hands telling us we played a great game. We did the same.
I don't know if I will ever play in a championship game again, It still hurts. Then I think of you all in Caperston and the challenges you are facing. It doesn't hurt so much when I think of you all.
For now my heart is in two worlds.
Chihaysu called us together to choose a new follower to replace Mattpaul. He stated that he wanted another youth to replace him but none of us were ready to accept the challenge. He knows we are believers and understands the risks a youth would take to join the group. He then decided to chose a man named Annad to join. He is married and his wife is in agreement with this special task he will take on. They reside in one of the lake houses and are quite wealthy, which allows Annad to join Chihaysu as both he and his wife Jewel work for the Caperston bank. When he is away, Jewel will be able to do his work.Chihaysu asked Annad to watch over the funds that he and his followers have received as donations. He trusts that Annad's work at the bank gives him experiences to keep good records of funds received and expenditures made. Some of the funds were earnings made by followers taking small jobs while they went about Chihaysu's work.
We youth do not have much money but Michaeling and I have decided to ask youth to donate one denorite each at our meetings. These will be given to Chihaysu. Since I have one of the better paying jobs amongst youth, I will give two denorites each time we meet.I told Chihaysu that your group is praying for us, particularly that the anger of the Mountain Youth will subside. Chihaysu then told another story of the man Jesus. At his execution, when he was dying, even though he did nothing wrong, he asked God to "forgive them for they do not know what they are doing". Chihaysu states that we must remember the sacrifice Jesus made for people on earth as well as Mattpaul's sacrifice in Caperston but we also must tell the story of forgiveness to the Mountain Youth.
Massacre on the Broken Highway
Alex and Laura,
Thank you for sharing with us. We are sorry that Alex and Toby's team lost the championship game. Thank you for telling us of the game basketball. We play nothing like that here in Caperston.
Things are really getting revved up here in Caperston. The Mountain youth are ready to challenge Pontos. It could be anyday. They truly blame him for the death of Mattpaul. We will keep in touch with you. Please pray that Pontos might see that he needs to do something. So far he just stays in his fancy home and seems to hope that the problems will go away. We do not think that they will.
I went to the Soup Kitchen in New York City for the first time since Kevin's death. There were many children there and Laura and I were asked to take them aside to share some Bible stories while their parents stood on a line, waiting for food. It was a nice day with almost 400 people on the line.
Laura and I took the children to a nearby park. Laura knows the Bible stories much better than I and told them of the family of Joseph. His brothers were jealous of him and sold him to slave traders. Many years past and there was a famine in their land. They had to walk for many days to another country and beg for food. It was a large country like Romas is to your own country. The brothers asked for food and had no idea that the official they were speaking to was their brother whom they had sold into slavery a generation before. The brother forgave them and gave them food and the family was once again together. The children loved the story and I saw one boy, resting on a crutch, holding a comic book. I asked him what his injury was and he said,"My ankle. It's not too bad. Pastor at the Soup Kitchen gave me this crutch." I asked him about the comic book and he showed me. It was called, "Forbidden universe". I told him that I did not know of the forbidden universe but I knew of a wonderful other universe, the universe of Caperston. I started telling him your story and he was very interested. Then his mother came and, after listening to me finish, she asked "Where is this place called Caperston?" I relied, "in another universe".
His mother responded, "My son already imagines too many things. Did you see his comic book? I don't want you filling his head with fantasies from another world. There are too many problems right here." She then called her son, "Matthew Paul, we have to find a place to sleep tonight." She looked at Laura and myself and said, "Yes, we are homeless."
We will pray for you in Caperston. Please pray for Matthew Paul and his mother on earth.
Hi Huchfee ... this us a short letter. It is our turn to ask you to pray for us. Alex seemed to enjoy staying with us at the Soup Kitchen two days ago but he is now missing. He disappeared two nights ago. He said nothing to anyone.
His parents and all of our church group is very worried for him. He has struggled with so many things - Kevin's death then losing the championship game that was so close. He kept going over the last seconds of the game in his head, If only I did this ... if only I did that. The rest of us felt all the boys played great but he still ponders everything.
April 13thDear Laura ... I do not know how to tell you this. Alex is safe.
I sent you a letter a while ago telling you of Chihaysu visiting earth in a dream. He called us all together and stated that it was time for us to have a prayer session with the candles. Seven of us got together with Chihaysu. We prayed and I know I never prayed harder. We were aware from Chihaysu that Alex was facing a crisis in his life. He would soon be facing the same decisions Chihaysu faced a short time ago. We were to pray for a safe journey through the wormhole for Alex and that he make a thoughtful and wise decision when he comes to the door with the window. Chihaysu said Alex is being given an opportunity to come to Caperston. When he arrives at the door he will be given the opportunity to peer through the window at Caperston and to open the door to enter. Chihaysu sais that if we pray hard enough that we want him to visit us in Caperston, then he will sense our prayers and possibly open the door. If we are not sincere in our prayers, he will probably turn away. Michaeling, Rachaeling, Marcus, Dustin, Angelica and Dawnling joined me. As we prayed we each had a vision of Alex making the turn towards the long tunnel. An instant later he was at the door, peering through the window. He seemed happy. Then, after looking back down the tunnel, he opened the door and, an instant later appeared in the very roonm in which we were praying. We greeted him enthusiastically and he sat down.
He told us that a few hours after he wrote to us, he walked outside. It was a warm, clear night and there was no moon in the sky. The stars were so bright. Suddenly he felt very tired. He sat down on a lawn chair and closed his eyes to rest. The next thing he recalled was being at the fork in the road, choosing the right fork, being escorted down the tunnel by a ray of light and appearing at the door. Upon opening the door he suddenly found himself in our room.
Alex was tired and Chihaysu suggested that he stay at his mother's home to rest. Alex agreed.
One thing that struck us was Alex's dark skin. It is darker than the skin of anyone in Caperston, even after we are exposed to the sun. Do all people from earth have dark skin?
Thank you Huchfee for writing back and we are glad Alex is safe. We look forward to having him write to us but he must be wondering what actually happened. Tell him that I spoke to our pastor who visited with Alex's family. He invited me to come. They keep asking how this could happen and is it really true? Is there a way for Alex to return and when?
Please tell Alex that his family misses him tremendously and they hope he is truly safe, not afraid and, hopefully, happy. When Alex is ready, please have him write to us.
Regarding people with dark skin, yes, many people on earth have dark skin. Earth is much bigger than Caperston and we have many different groups, which we call races, who look different from each other. In our youth group we have six people with dark skin and eight with lighter skin. Despite the fact that we look different we treat each others as equals.
Dear Laura, parents and friends of Alex
To begin Alex has stayed with Chihaysu and Chihaysu's mother for a week. Michaeling and I visited with him two days after he arrived and then Marcus also visited. Alex knew all of us. He is still adjusting to our world. He noticed right away that we walk everywhere. He talked about something you call cars and then said children and young people have bicycles. Then he noticed that our roads are really wide paths except for the one main street in town. Five years ago Pontos ordered that it be flattened out so that he could ride his mobile into town whenever he visited. It was hard work to flatten it. Water was sprayed and a wooden structure was built that could be pulled along the street flattening it. Now about every ten days workers sprinkle water on the street then take the structure out and drag it down the street twice, once up and once back.
Our food is also different. We eat a lot of vegetables and fish. Alex says he misses a food called a hamburger. He tried to describe it and it sounds delicious but apparently it comes from an animal Alex calls a "cow" and there are no such animals living in Caperston. Perhaps a goada would, if killed and cooked would taste like a hamburger but we need our goadas to provide milk, particularly for the little ones. Chihaysu suggested that Alex visit the Mountain village as Chihaysu's mother lives close to the mountain community. Marcus will come back in a few days to escort Alex to the village. After this visit, Alex can take the much longer (several hours long) walk to the main street in the middle of town. There Michaeling, Rachaeling and I will meet Chihaysu and himself to have lunch and show him the main buildings in town. Perhaps then he will feel comfortable writing to you.
Dear Laura and friends of AlexYou will not believe what is now happening in Caperston. There was a rumor that the Mountain Youth were going to march around Lake Gael and Jonas went to investigate along with myself. There were fifty or sixty of the Mountain Youth - both young men and young women. They were carrying the signs asking for justice for Mattpaul and got halfway around the lake when soldiers, sent by the Ruler and under the command of our old classmate Zester, met them. The soldiers had long, metal spears and made a line across the road where the youth were walking. There were thirty soldiers but they were all men and heavily armed. The Mountain Youth had no weapons.
Zester stepped forward and told the youth that the Ruler Pontos was not interested in talking to them and they should return home. He said you do not belong in the village of the Valley People and you are not respected enough to gain an audience with Pontos. The youth shouted back, "We want the Ruler. We want the Ruler." One of the leaders stepped towards Zester, "If we cannot go to his home, tell him to come here. We want to speak to him not you". Zester was getting angry and replied, "You will talk to me and my message is clear - go home, now, where you belong - every one of you." The Mountain Youth responded, raising their voices, 'Pontos, yes; Zester, no; Pontos, yes; Zester, no."
Now Zester was furious. He pulled out a long knife and stated, "You will leave now or risk the consequences". The response became louder, "Pontos, yes; Zester, no." 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. Zester picked out two girls who had stumbled as they ran. He raised his sword above his head. Just then Alex sprang into action. He picked up a tree branch fallen on the ground and charged towards Zester. "You coward, you attack defenseless girls with a sword. " He swung the tree branch and knocked Zester's sword out of his hand. Zester reached for his sword and Alex put his foot on it. Looking at Zester he softly said, "Coward ... you and your men leave while we take care of the wounded." Zester snarled but said nothing. He knew everyone, on both sides, were watching. He looked towards the other soldiers and called out, "We've taught them their lesson." Waving his hand towards the Valley side of Lake Gael, he said" Warriors ... let's go." The battle was over. The Mountain youth did not know what to say to Alex. They did not know of Earth and had never seen someone so tall. Alex was more than a head taller than anyone in Caperston. The tallest Mountain Youth walked up to Alex and stood by. The top of the youth's head met Alex's chest. The youth looked up at Alex and said, "Thanks. You saved the day for all of us. What is your name?" "My name is Alex." "And where do you live?" Alex was unsure what to say and Marcus stepped forward. "Alex is living with Chihaysu's mother. I was bringing him to meet all of you, not here but in the village. We are still coming but let's see who was hurt." It was only then that the youth realized that so many were wounded or killed. If it was not for Alex' intervention two more would have died. The final count found eight dead and thirteen wounded. The wounded were assisted as they walked to the Mountain village. Marcos ran ahead to speak to the parents of those who had died. As the youth were returning to the village, they saw Marcus leading several grieving parents to the place where their teenagers had perished. When Pontos heard of the massacre, he asked Pav-ed to see him. He told Pav-ed he was not feeling well and asked Pav-ed to speak with Zester to find out what happened.
Pav-ed spoke to Zester who attempted to blame the Mountain Youth for instigating the attack with their words. Pav-ed responded, "Words are just words. The soldiers should have simply blocked the road and the Mountain Youth would have no choice but to leave".
If the Mountain Youth were angry before, now they are ready to explode. They said they will make wooden spears with sharp points and the next time they march to Pontos' home, they will come in secret, in the middle of the night through an uninhabited area known as Stone Woods (see figure in book on page 26). There is a new banner up in a Mountain Village with on large word on it, written in red. It is the word "Revenge". Chihaysu is asking us to pray for peace. He is sending Marcus and Jonas to speak with them.
Dear earth friends,
I usually don't title my letters but today I want to. This letter is called "Pathway Cross Broken Highway".
Marcus reported that he and four other Mountain Youth met with Chihaysu after the attack on the Mountain Youth led by Zester. The Mountain Youth cannot be more angrier and want revenge - now. Chihaysu stated that something must happen now but not revenge. He stated that the Mountain Youth can build a memorial in the middle of the road where their friends were killed. It should be a big enough memorial that it will prohibit any easy access on the road by Zester and his soldiers again. The blockage can be built soon and later memorial stones with each deceased youth's name engraved on a stone can be added .One of the youth stated that there were some large boulders that can be easily rolled into and across the road so that there will be no easy access to the Mountain villages again. Another youth asked, "How do we get to the Valley village when we have to without the highway?" Chihaysu replied: "You do not want to travel on this Highway, broken by the murder of Mountain Youth again. Rather there is a pathway that leads to Lake Gale. I take it all the time. It is quiet, peaceful and I feel the presence of God when I walk down that pathway to Lake Gale. Walk to the old highway. Just a few steps beyond it is a path. Cross the highway then turn right and follow the path. It takes you to Lake Gale. Make a left at the lake and walk around it. You will see a small opening ahead. It has some flat stones to sit and rest on."
He continued, "After resting you will see another path, this one much shorter than the one you just traveled that will take you to the street that faces the House of the Dead. Across from there is the market you have been used to making purchases at. Until we come up with a name for the path let's simply call it "Pathway 'cross Broken Highway".Marcus asked if any youth from the valley would join the Mountain Youth and several of us agreed. Work on the Memorial begins tomorrow. I must add this. One of our Valley Youth responded to what we heard by stating: "We believe in hope ... the past is gone. All there is ... is future". He is one of our quieter youth by the name of Lukus. He could not have stated our beliefs better.
Seven of we Valley Youth joined ten Mountain Youth and it did take long to roll thirty large boulders across the highway.Alex was a great help as he picked up the largest boulders. He is not only tall but very strong. A tree limb was placed if the center propped up by three of the stones . On it was a sign ... "We remember".
Marcus told us that already work is being done on the memorial stones. When we were done and ready to leave, Chihaysu appeared. He congratulated us for our accomplishment then said, "It is more than a new physical path we have been directed to today. Everyone will face a broken highway or two sometime in life. When these times come we must all seek a new pathway - a simple answer based on the guidance of God's Spirit."
Between the arrival of Alex and the confrontation with Zester and the soldiers, we have forgotten 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.
Alex, himself, is amazed. In an afternoon he was able to walk to and all around the Valley area of Caperston. He said his high school, all by itself, has as many people as there are residents in all of Caperston. Now that is truly something we cannot imagine.
Alex then told us of meeting Matthew Paul and later his mother, of how he seemed interested in our world and how his mother discouraged him from using his imagination. He stated that his friends on earth will make an effort to speak with Matthew Paul and encourage him to use his imagination, while still respecting his mother. That seems to be a hard task.
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 soldiers. 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 we went on their way but Dustin kept encouraging the Mountain Youth to be cautious and resolve their problems by talking with anyone representing Pontos.
Martyrdom in Caperston
Every time I look at the night sky I wonder ... where are you, people of earth? Alex is staying overnight in my home for a few days and last night we walked away from town. The sky was so black and , as we looked up, I got a feeling that earth is around a particularly bright star in the southern sky. How far away is it? Neither Alex nor I knew. We made some guesses with Alex's being a larger distance away than I thought it would be. Then Alex paused and said that it was impossible to see earth and its sun. I asked, "Why?" and he replied that we live in a different universe. He began to explain that they had learned about the universe in a youth meeting. It was so interesting that I told him to wait and share it with all our Caperston youth, Valley and Mountain youth at our next meeting. Alex agreed to do so.
Now let me tell you the bad news from Caperston. I was asked to go with Pav-ed to the Mountain village and we asked Jonas to join us. Alex was to visit with Michaeling and her family for dinner that day. What we observed as we approached the village was at first disheartening but then became painful.
Dustin was approached by two Mountain Youth as he was speaking with several others. Jonas ran ahead as the confrontation began and Pav-ed who was older and I were 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 and I 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 approached Dustin from behind as he was kneeling in prayer. He dropped the boulder on his head, crushing it and Dustin 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 Mountain 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.
Alex returned to our house after dinner and we told him what had happened. He was very upset. He stated that his basketball training led him to becoming a fast runner and he could have stopped the Mountain Youth with the boulder. I had to tell him it certainly was not his fault that he wasn't there but he still feels very bad.
Hi Huchfee -
I want to be respectful but must share my doubts. I hope that someday we will hear from Alex and, if he ever returns to Earth, talk to him.
Your story is very 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 We understand how you must wonder about us. Sounds a little crazy, I guess, hearing from people in a different universe.
I used to wonder if your communication with us was also real. That is until Alex arrived. Now I know we are, indeed, talking with other young people from Earth and I will say that, even before Alex arrived, you gave us all comfort, knowledge and courage.
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 wondered if your communication with us was also real. What I do know is that the messages from Laura and Darren, reportedly from Earth, have given us all comfort, knowledge and courage. And, of course, Alex coming to our world has given us confidence that all is true.
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.
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
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 say you would like to learn more 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.
We are all excited. In two days Michaeling will invite all youth, who are believers over. Instead of simply having a candle lit prayer session, it will also be a meet Alex session. She agreed to ask Alex if he could share some of the things about our universe, which he shared with me a few days ago.
Earth Friends, Laura and Darren ...
Chihaysu joined us at a gathering with many friends to meet Alex for the first time. Those meeting him were struck by how tall he is. The tallest of our group reached his chin. The story he shared about coming here was amazing. We all thought about times we came to a fork in the road and had to make a choice. Most of us admitted that we would not have had the courage to do what Alex did.
Alex then told us about the time he was in a discussion about the beginning of the universe. We never heard of the "Big Bang" that he talked about and the mysterious thing called a singularity. He told us that a singularity was the entirety of the universe in something so small it would fit in a closed hand. He then stated that the beginning of your Bible says that "In the beginning God created a world that was "without form, void, covered with darkness". Then light came and the world as we know it now began. Alex said the "singularity" was the beginning of the world and then it exploded into the universe. A little while later light appeared and light is actually a stream of very small particles called a photons. We were all a little confused but found the explanation exciting.
One of those present suggested that we ask the scientist about these ideas but another stated ... "Please don't. He talks to much and is boring". Another agreed and we were surprised that Chihaysu was listening but did not say anything.
Then Alex told us what we thought was most important. He asked each of us to snap our fingers. We tried to determine who was fastest and decided it was Marcus. Alex said when creation happened, the time at the very beginning is a mystery to scientists on earth. The length of time which is mysterious is like the time it took Marcus to snap his fingers. In that fraction of a second something happened to that singularity.
What caused it to explode is unknown to scientists. We all said that it had to be God but then Angeling asked, "Well, where was God?" Was God in the singularity? We had an interesting discussion as in the very beginning the singularity was the entire universe in the palm of anyone's hand. So God must have been in it. However, others argued that God could have been apart from the singularity.
The Angelique said, "If God was in the singularity and it exploded, then God must be in each of us because we came from the exploding singularity".
Alex responded that he never thought of it that way. Chihaysu, who had been quietly listening, then spoke, "These are all wonderful ideas, Alex. However, I am not sure that it matters how we were created. What matters is that God is here for us all now".
This was something we all agreed upon and we thanked Alex for sharing the things he had learned about the beginning of the world.
Rachaeling asked him about others things that he did with his youth group on earth and Alex replied that he wanted to think about something special that he could share with us at another time. We all encouraged him to do so.
Chihaysu then asked Alex, if there was any message he would like passed on to his friends back home? Alex, thought for a few seconds then asked Huchfee, "If you write to my friends on earth, tell them that I am safe, healthy and learning a lot from being here. What I am impressed with is how important prayer is to all the young people in Caperston. I told Alex I would certainly include this in my letter.
We ended with Michaeling leading us in prayer, holding only one lit candle as it symbolized that people in Caperston and on earth all pray to the one and only God of all universes. Her prayer was brief ... "Thank you God for sending us Alex and for all we have learned from him today".
Dear Huchfee and friends,
We thank you for sharing Alex' message. The things you learned from Alex and shared let us know that he is truly with you as we all remember the meeting that we talked about the creation of the universe. We are not surprised that Alex shared this as he was one of the most vocal of us when the topic was discussed. Yes, it is fascinating to try to imagine what it was like and, yes, Angeling's question, "Is God in each of us because we all have bits of the singularity in us?" is a new idea that was not discussed here on earth. Please share with Alex that we are so glad he is safe but our pastor and his parents have decided not to let the public know of what happened. It would be much too sensational. We We are certain that Alex is with you but the message shared with, for instance, our high school is that Alex is visiting with relatives for an uncertain amount of time. Does anyone know when Alex will return? We are glad he is with you but we miss him.
Alex, I am sure you remember that we missed you when you became angry with God because of Kevin's death. Now we miss you again.I myself deeply miss our long conversations on everything from the basketball season to college plans for next year to the creation of the universe. Maybe you can write to us through Huchfee's compol with his assistance.
One last thing. 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.
We look forward to reading the lyrics of Jim's song. We also understand how everyone, particularly Alex's parents, are wondering about his return. We ourselves wonder the same as does Alex. Chihaysu states that, as God opened the door for him to visit and advised him in a vision, so we must wait for guidance from our Caring Creator, as Chihaysu often describes God as being.
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.
Thank you for sharing your story of prayer. I have been thinking of the young man Alex and I were speaking to at the Soup Kitchen just before Alex travelled to your world. He seemed so interested in so many things, not just comic stories as his mother feared. I hope we will be able to see him the next time we work with the homeless in New York City later this year. We need to have the faith of the four men in Caperston and we need to pray every often, as all of you in Caperston do, for this young man's health and welfare.
Caperston in Conflict
Please read below for the details of the story and learn what happened to Zester, Pav-ed and the Mountain Youth?June 11th
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.
Zester was also wondering about the tall mountain youth with dark skin. "Who is he? I never saw anyone like him in my life, certainly bot as strong. ..that's why I made the decision to retreat. We need to question him after arresting the others". Pav-ed said the tall youth may have averted more killing and that was a good thing. He asked Zester to rethink 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,calling out, " You are useless to all our efforts to regain control", 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.
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 and Alex ...
Thank you for thinking of us and praying for us. Something wonderful has happened here in Caperston amidst all the bad news I have been reporting. We have learned that Pav-ed did not die in Lake Gael. Only Chihaysu's followers know as, if Zester found out, he would certainly try to kill him to hide what he did to him. Pav-ed clearly knows too much.
Pav-ed did fall into Lake Gael and was stunned when hitting the water. He found his eyes swelling from a reaction to the minerals in the water. Fortunately a large piece of driftwood floated by. And he was able to hold on. He was in the water for a long time and his eyes continued to swell and eventually were swollen shut leaving him blind. He could see nothing And remained in the water throughout the night, hanging on to the driftwood and becoming increasingly tired. At one point, convinced that he would die, he called out, "God of my son Mattpaul, if you are there, let me see my son one last time before I die."
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".
At that very moment Alex was praying by the shore of Lake Gael. It was quiet as the sea was calm and it was early in the morning. He heard a man cry out "My son... I believe. He looked out in the distance and saw a man holding onto a log in the water. Alex got up and ran down the shoreline. He saw a mountain man who had been out fishing early in the morning, returning with a bucket of fish. Alex waived frantically and the man waved back.
"My good man, someone is in need. " The man rowed towards Alex, who then ran into the water, pointing towards Pav-ed. The man motioned for Alex to climb into the boat and show him. Alex did.
Alex answered by jumping into the water, swimming a short distance towards Pav-ed. He stated,"Hold on my friend", then grabbed the end of the log. Alex's arm stoked backwards over his head and he kicked hard with his legs. In a short time he reached the boat as the fisherman maneuvered the boat so that the log and Pav-ed arrived parallel to its side. He reached over and grabbed Pav-ed's arm as Alex called out, "Have faith, my friend".
Alex grabbed the left arm of Pav-ed and pushed the log away. It was obvious that Pav-ed was without the ability to assist in pulling himself into the boat. As the fisherman reached over for Pav-ed the boat rocked and Alex pushed it upward into a stable position. Time was of essence as Pav-ed was weakening. Alex placed Pav-ed left arm on the ridge of the boat, stating, "When I say Go... pull with all of your might".
Pav-ed replied ,"I will".
Alex swam to the back of Pav-ed and called out"Go". He then dove below the water , rising just under Pav-ed body and pushed him upward with all of his might. It seemed like he was holding his breath forever, pushing upward but finally he felt success. He let go and rose to the surface gasping for air. Looking to the boat he saw Pav-ed settling in next to the fisherman. In the back seat, the fisherman's catch of fish was stable and full.
Along the way Alex observed Pav-ed swollen eyes and comforted him, encouraging him that, in time, they would heal though his eyes were both painful and swollen shut. Along the way Pav-ed shared his story and stated , I have you, the good fishman and a vision of my son to thank for saving my life". When Alex asked him his son's name he replied,"Mattpau". Alex momentarily stopped. It was then that he realized whom he had rescued and he could not believe that he was hearing of Mattpaul, whom he had spoken to in his vision on earth several months before.
When they arrived at Chihaysu's home, he came out and immediately recognized Pav-ed. Alex introduced them and Pav-ed stated, "My teacher, I have seen a vision of my son, Mattpaul, who sent me to you. I wish to be baptized as I do believe". Chihaysu took water , dropped it on his head, washed his eyes and the burning stopped. "I baptize you into the group of believers in God. Your name shall no longer be Pav-ed. It will be Sav-ed for you have been saved by your vision of your son to understand the true ruler, God, of this world."
People around Chihaysu wondered how he could be so accommodating to someone, who had once opposed him so strongly. Chihaysu replied - when someone becomes a believer, they also become a new person. He needs someone to replace Dustin as a follower and asked everyone to welcome his new follower, Sav-ed.
And we have more good news. The Memorial Kickuml Game (in honor of Mountain Youth, Dustin and Valley Youth, Mattpaul) will be held soon. Michaeling will be the captain of one team and Dawnling will lead the other. All participants agreed to play on mixed teams. I will share with you the results after the game is held.
The beginning of this story is found in "The Chest of Visions: Secrets of Caperston". Lee Ashford of Readers' Favorite writes ...The Chest of Visions 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.
It 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, 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."
For more reviews of The Chest of Visions, and purchase information click ... Reviews Chest of Visions
Huchfee - it is wonderful to hear that Pav-ed is alive and that he his vision of Mattpaul has opened his eyes to the things of God. This is a happy event. I must report a sad event here on earth. Do you remember the young boy who we met at the soup kitchen? The boy who showed interest in comic books and the story of your world? Alex and I were so enthusiastic about seeing him again when we arrived at the soup kitchen last Saturday. We saw his mother but not her son, Matthew Paul. When she passed by for her meal, I asked her about him. She hung her head and kept walking.
We had a good turnout of volunteers so I got permission to follow her to a bench where she was eating. I sat down and, at first, she said little. I stated that I did not want to be nosy but we were looking forward to seeing Matthew Paul. A tear came to her eye and softly, almostin a whisper, she stated, "He is not with me".
"What happened?" I asked and his mother told a very sad story. They were homeless and they met a man who said he had a place for them to stay. They moved in and all seemed well for a week or two until the man asked for "favors". At first they were simple requests but, as time went by, they became more risky. One day she was asked to pick up a package for him, not at the post office, but at a friend's house. She did so and, when walking out, the police arrested her. The package was filled with a drug we call heroin. It is a dangerous, illegal and expensive drug.
When she was brought to the police station she tried to explain but the police were not interested. They asked about her family and she told them about Matthew Paul. They stated that they would send someone called a social worker to visit him, and take him to a safe place to live. This they did. Everything happened three weeks ago and she saw him once last week. He told her he wants to come home and his mother reported, "We have no home".
I asked her what her name was and she said, "Julia". I told her it was a pretty name and I hoped that Matthew Paul would soon be returned to her and that we would see him the next time we worked at the Soup Kitchen. Julia stated that she had a court hearing in a week bu,t until she found a safe place to live, she was afraid that Matthew Paul would be left in what is called a foster home. We all need to pray for Julia and Matthew Paul.
Laura and all my friends ...I asked Huchfee if I could write this letter and he agreed. With Pav-ed alive, many changes are happening and we will share them with you soon.. We shared with Michaeling Matthew Paul's fate. She prays every day and promised to do so for Matthew Paul and Julia. Caperston does not have "foster homes" so I explained what they are
Now I have to tell you of the kickuml game. It was very close, a six to five score. I was a referee with Jonas being the second. Kickuml is very much like our soccer with a couple of differences. One is an "extra point" like kick after a score. When a team scores, it gets a free kick worth one half of a point. The kick comes against a goalie, who can use his hands, and one defenseman who can challenge the kicker if he got within 20 meters of the goal line befoire kicking the ball. I like the idea because it can help a team that is far behind catch up more quickly. The extra half-point kick is not easy tomake and only four were successful during the match. One team made three and the other one but it made the match exciting.
There was a blue team and a red team. The red team led by three points with five minutes to play when the blue team scored and then made their penalty kick. The blue team, being successful, had a chance to tie the score with a second goal and a successful extra point and that is what happened. Marcus, who played an excellent game, scored with less than a minute to play. The rules called for the scorer to take the penalty kick and Marcus' kick went right into the upper left corner to tie the game.
No one scored in the last few seconds after these scores and the game went into overtime.There was a break and I saw the players on each team intermingling with smiles on their faces. Then I heard Marcus speak to Rachaeling who was on the other team. He told her that she could score and win the game if she would stand to the left of his team's goalie. I was surprised to hear Marcus giving advice to an opponent. Rachaeling stated she would try that positioning.
For a moment I was back on the basketball court plotting strategy for that last shot to tie or win the game. None of us would ever have considered giving advice to our opponents.
The overtime started and Marcus with the ball dribbled down towards the Red teams goal. He was very good and got a shot towards the goal that just missed, wide to the right. Now the Red team had the ball. Huchfee was the captain of the Red team. He passed the ball to Angeling, who dribbled the ball up the field. Rachaeling did as Marcus suggested, standing just to the left of the Blue goalie.
Marcus was running towards the ball when Angeling passed to another Red team player. He dribbled further up the field to the right, past Marcus. All the Blue defenders came to meet him and Rachaeling was all alone. He passed the ball to Rachaeling who made a shot right to the center of the Red goal.
Everyone was surprised and the Red team goalie most of all. He had come forward to guard the shot he expected and was helpless to guard against Rachaeling's winning shot.
Huchfee's team won and it seemed just right that the winning goal in a game honoring Mattpaul and Dustin would be scored by Mattpaul's sister.
Everyone, except for Pontos and Zester, came out to watch the game and cheer us on. After the game I asked Marcus why he shared such strategy with Rachaeling. He replied, "Why not? it helped her be at the right place at the right time."
"But you knew that your team might lose if Rachaeling was passed the ball."
Marcus replied, "It did not matter who won. What mattered was that mountain youth and valley youth were mixed together on both teams and we all had fun."
"Have kickuml games always been played this way?" I asked.
"No, they used to be very competitive... but we learned there was a better way to compete."
"How did you learn?"
"Well, Alex ... it was from you, when you wrote your letter telling about your vision of heaven and the kickuml game there. Remember you stated that Mattpaul told you that, in heaven, they do not keep score and everyone wins. So since we heard your story, we decided to play "everyone wins " games. They are much more fun. We had to keep score today for the crowd watching us but we would really prefer everyone wins.
My friends at home ... this was my best day ever in Caperston. I am thinking of what would happen if we did away with the competition in sports and had "everyone wins" games.How about taking competition out of other things? It is worth thinking about.
We will update you with other matters of concern but today is everyone wins day and it is very pleasant.
Hi Huchfee and friends,
So glad to hear from you. The story gets more and more interesting and we are really happy to hear of the kickuml game. Yes, it is special that Mattpaul's sister scored the winning goal at his memorial. But even more special that an opponent of Michaeling (Marcus) gave her a hint how to position herself to score the goal. Sometimes I wonder if God intervened to make it happen. And Alex, your description of the game made us feel we were actually there. Jim finished his song - with two verses for all of you and we would like to share it.
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
In Caperstan ... a man came to tell the truth
Mattpaul believed ... and followed him
But his father did not ... agree with his son
Mattpaul's death and vision ... convinced him
So Alex has come... and it seems so strange
That he is there and away from us ... we are sure he agrees
Mountain and Valley youth should be one
Mattpaul's death and Alex convinced you all
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
I am sure Alex has told you but, in case he did not, a foster home is a family that takes in a child who has nowhere else to live. This way he is with a family who loves him or her and provides for their needs. Most foster families have children of their own and foster children. We have no new news on Julia and Matthew Paul yet but when Julia gets a safe home for Matthew Paul he will be able to return and live with his mother who gave birth to him.
We think about the challenges you are facing and we hope this song is encouraging.
Dear friends from Earth,
With Pav-ed (now Sav-ed) gone, I returned to the job I held after I completed school. I make less money but that is all right as I cannot work for Pontos or Zester. Michaeling organized another prayer meeting and, after the success of the kickuml game, several Mountain Youth attended. I shared Jim's song about Caperston with everyone, reading it as a poem as we do not know the melody. Rachaeling stated that she would work on writing a tune for the lyrics. She is a very good musician.
I was careful not to share with those present the fact that Sav-ed is still alive. Only Michaeling and Rachaeling know. Rachaeling told her mother and she agrees that this good news must remain a secret.
Our prayer meeting went well and we prayed about many things. It started with a hope that Matthew Paul and Julia from Earth would feel the sense of the presence of God and that Julia would find a home so that Matthew Paul could return to her. Then we prayed that the uprising between the Mountain Youth against the Valley People will find a peaceful resolution. Those responsible for Dustin's death were arrested by Zester are in jail. We understand the frustrations that exist and we all (even the mountain youth who were present) agree that it is no excuse to murder, particularly someone like Dustin who was trying to calm the anger of his fellow Mountain Youth. It is difficult to be a believer in Caperston.
Michaeling was so wise. Whenever we got confused or upset, she said, "Let's pray". Everyone present joined in and many reminded us that Dustin was praying when he was killed. We completed our meeting by repeating the chorus of the "Praise Him" song, leaving with the words of the song on our hearts: 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
In two days Michaeling and I will visit Chihaysu and, hopefully, Sav-ed as it will be my day off from work.
Huchfee - I am starting to believe something unusual and special is happening. Your story of Pav-ed becoming Sav-ed is so similar to the story of the greatest of all Christian missionaries Paul. He was blinded by a bright light and Pav-ed is blinded by the minerals in the water. Paul was known as Saul and has a vision of Jesus. Pav-ed has a vision of his son Mattpaul and takes the new name, Sav-ed. I just got the Chest of Visions book and began reading - the thing about parallel universes is coming more and more real. I am glad I met you and discovered the book. Keep safe and keep in touch.
Darren and Laura ...
I wish we could get a copy of that book but, as good as our compol can be, it can only receive a message not an actual book. And our messages sometimes come jumbled and they are like a puzzle to straighten out - fortunately a relatively easy puzzle.
When I last wrote I advised that on my day off Michaeling and I would be visiting with Chihaysu and hopefully Sav-ed. We did not see Sav-ed but learned that Cle-as from Romas had requested a visit from Chihaysu. Chihaysu asked one of his new followers Ammed , who had become treasurer of the group, for funds to provide for needed provisions to travel to Romas. Ammed then made an admission: he and his wife, Jewel, had borrowed some of the funds raised for a repair to their house. He stated that he intended to repay the funds in the future. But did not presently have them.
Ammed was very remorseful and sad for the decision he and his wife made. He asked Chihaysu to forgive him and promised to do extra work top repay the debt. He suddenly felt very tired and collapsed. He was assisted to a bed and Chihaysu stated that he appeared to have the AHT disease that his mother had. The next day Chihaysu summoned Ammed's wife, Jewel, and confronted her about using the funds for their home repair. Jewel denied the usage of the funds not once , not twice but three times. After the third lie Jewel was taken to see her husband, who had been asleep for more than a day. She tried to wake him , calling out, "Ammed, tell them we did not take any money". Ammed did not respond and suddenly Jewel had a seizure, collapsed and stopped breathing. Chihaysu tried to revive her but is unable to do so. An inspection of our treasury shows that there are only three denorites left when there was fifty at one time. Two of the remaining three denorites will be used to purchase a line in the Book of the Dead for Jewel who will be buried in the pit with criminals. Chihaysu reminded us that Ammed was repentant and, though he did steal the money, the man Jesus from Earth taught us all to be forgiving. He asks everyone to pray that Ammed will overcome the AHT disease.
We leared that a day later Ammed woke up from his sleep and advised his intention to work to repay the treasury at three denorites per week. Chihaysu states that this is fair and that Ammed must wait until he is fully recovered before beginning the extra work he will do to earn the money to repay the debt. We also learned that Jonas and Sav-ed volunteered to visit Cle-as in Romas. Sav-ed will visit his wife, in secret, and ask her for provisions for their journey so that no funds are needed from the treasury. Chihaysu asks that the journey be next week as he wishes time to spend in prayer with Sav-ed to prepare him for the journey and to understand how to reply to Cle-as as the reason for her inquiry is unknown.
After spending seven days with Sav-ed, Chihaysu called all of his followers together. Marcus had told him of all the prayer meetings Michaling had scheduled especially when emotions were on the rise and he asked Michaeling to join Sav-ed as his two new followers. Now Mattpaul's prediction in Alex's dream, before he came to Caperston, (page 106) has been fulfilled. Mattpaul stated that new followers of Chihaysu would include a female (Michaeling) and someone no one would suspect (Sav-ed). A candle lighting ceremony similar to those led by Michaeling was held and it was a very joyful evening. Sav-ed and Jonas leave for Romas tomorrow.
Since Alex's dream and its predictions have come to be, we are all encouraged - yes, there is a heaven and they play kickuml there. And in heaven, they do not keep score.
Laura and Darren - I am so upset. I need your prayers more than ever. Rachaeling told me yesterday that she received a notice from the ruler Pontos that Zester has requested him to issue an announcement decreeing that Rachaeling marry Zester and be his wife. The note states that Pontos feels Zester is a fine young man and Rachaeling should be happy he is interested in her.
Rachaeling states that she will not marry Zester but does not know what to do. I am so foolish. I love Rachaeling but I never told her. I was afraid she would reject me.
In our world people can get married in two ways: ask the mother of the girl to be married for permission to marry her or, if the mother rejects the suitor, ask the ruler. Zester approached her mother a few days ago, who spoke to Rachaeling. Rachaelling told her mother she was not interested in Zester's offer so her mother declined giving consent. But Zester feels he is better than everyone else so he went to Pontos.
It is rare that the Ruler will enforce a marriage request, when the mother of the bride-to-be refuses consent. Usually consent by the Ruler is given because the mother of the potential bride is deceased. But Pontos holds Zester in such high esteem that he has set a date for their marriage and it is 60 days away. Rachaeling and I are very, very upset. I finally told her about my feelings and she cried for a long time. I will see Chihaysu tomorrow to ask him what we can do. I wish Rachaeling's father, Sav-ed, was here but he and Jonas left on their journey to Romas three days ago.
Dear Huchfee ... we are speechless. Here on earth marriage is a union set when both partners are willing to marry. At the marriage ceremony husband and wife exchange their vows willfully. There was a time in the past when marriages were arranged by parents and there are some cultures that still do this today but most do not and certainly not in America where Alex, Darren and I live.
We will pray that Pontos will change his decree or Zester will change his mind realizing that marrying someone who does not want you for a husband will not be a happy marriage.
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.
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.
September 11thA Special Love
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. I expect Pontos to arrest him now". Look I recorded Chihaysu's entire speech on my compol and I know how to broadcast it to everyone - even people in Romas".
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!!
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.
Hi... We are so happy that Sav-ed and Jonas returned from Romas.The journey took five 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!!
Huchfee - I know I do not write as often as Laura 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.
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... The Escape Plan
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. Alex, 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.
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.
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.
Dear Darren and Laura ... We have eleven days to keep Rachaeling hidden. She has been away for some time and Jonas, Alex 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.
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, Alex 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.
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.
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.
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?
October 21st Prison Songs of Joy and Redemption
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.
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.
Michaeling asked me if she could visit with Rachaeling. After our meeting with the Hugapods, I felt she would be safe but could not go alone. I cannot get off work and it is important that I keep an eye on Zester. I spoke with Timus who agreed to take her. When they arrived, they learned that Rachaelling and Jonas were planning to visit a Hugapod village. Jonas and Michaeling returned and gave a most interesting report. Timus remained with Rachaelling.
I will summaize their report. The Hugapods actually live in a series of caves on the North Side of North Woods. They are equal distance between Caperston and the larger town of Romas. Their village consists of about twenty cave homes with about 120 Hugapods living there. One interesting thing we saw was a game they all play. It is with a ball the size that we use in the Kickuml games. They do not kick the ball into a goal but they throw the ball into a basket. The basket is attached to a tree about 10 feet above the ground and a line is drawn 18 feet from the tree. You have two choices - shoot a long shot 18 feet away for two points or, for the most athletic, take a drop shot worth one point. When taking a drop shot, the tall Hugapods run up to the line and are allowed one step and a jump to reach over the basket and drop the ball in.
There are teams and each team can decide which players will take what type of shot. The first team to reach a score of 59 is the winner. There was a short practice before the actual game. Both Jonas and Alex got a chance to play.
Jonas stated he tried the long shot four times while playing and made one out of four. The really tall Hugapods, that did the drop shot, almost never missed while those shooting the long shot made a little less than half. Alex sparkled. He made about half of his long shots but what was really impressive was how fast he is. We knew he could run fast but he seems even faster bouncing the ball on the way to a drop shot. The competition was a lot of fun.
Marcus stated that after the dancing event a week ago he spoke with one of the Hugapod leaders, whose name is Erbert. Erbert is also the best player at the basket shooting game. He is eight feet four inches tall and a good jumper. In the game Erbert made 22 out of 23 drop shot attempts and led his team to victory 59 to 54. It was a close competition and, when his team got behind 52 to 51, Erbert made a long shot and a drop shot to go ahead. After the other team made a drop shot Erbert's teammate made a long shot and Ermert scored the last point with his 22nd drop shot. Overall Erbert scored 24 points on 24 shots with only one miss. We were told by those present that no one has ever just missed one shot while shooting 24 or more shots in a game ... it is a record performance !!!
Marcus stated that he found Erbert to speak in short replies and to be a good listener. He started to tell Erbert about the unseen ruler of whom Chihaysu speaks and he was totally surprised when Erbert replied, "You mean God".
How Forgiveness WorksMarcus asked, "How do you know about God?" and Erbert told their story. His father was the ruler of the Hugapods and many years ago had a dream. It was a very vivid dream of a man, tied to a tree up in the air. His hands were spread horizontally and, when he looked closely, he saw that he was not tied to the tree but large nails were piercing his bleeding hands. Some people were there crying but most were making fun of him saying, "He helped others but he cannot help himself". He seemed in pain but Erbert's father saw him look to the sky and say "Father God, forgive them for they do not know what they are doing". Erbert's father then woke up from his dream and spent the night thinking about those words, "Father God forgive them".
His father noted that there had been much arguing amongst the Hugapod people recently and he said, "We need to learn to forgive". He called a meeting and told everyone of his dream and as their ruler, he called them to forgive. If they have trouble with someone, they should do as the man in the dream ... except they need to say "Father God, help me to forgive those who have wronged me".
People began doing so and the Hugapod Village became more and more peaceful. Over a generation the person people asked for assistance became known simply as "God" and every Hugapod, two times a day, leaves to go to a quiet place, looks to the sky and asks God to help them forgive. Erbert said that this has worked for a generation and it is why everyone gets along.
Marcus told him of Chihaysu's teaching and both concluded that it is the same God we are all praying to. Same God, same vision of Christ, yes, but just on the cross. No Christmas manger scene story, no miracles ... just "forgive them for they do not know what they are doing"
The sixty day decree, enforcing the marriage of Zester and Rachaeling is now over and Rachaelling will remain with the Hugapods until new plans can be made for her. Rumors are that Zester has other plans to assert his influence with Pontos.
Sav-ed remains in Romas. It has been a long tome and we trust that all is well. It was good to hear from Matthew Paul and that his foster parents have been good to him. How is everyone else?
May God be with all of us in these challenging times.
The beginning of this story is found in "The Chest of Visions: Secrets of Caperston". Lee Ashford of Readers' Favorite writes ...The Chest of Visions 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.
It 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, 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."
For more reviews of The Chest of Visions, and purchase information click ... Reviews Chest of Visions
Hi Huchfee and friends ... it is good to hear of Rachealing's safety. Is she still with the Hugapods? How is Annad and his illness? And what about Sav-ed? He has been gone for so long. Is Pontos going to release Chihaysu now that the sixty days are over? Is Zester still planning to test the light guns on the Hugapods? I know ... we have so many questions.
Here we had a youth group meeting and we talked about the similarity of Chihaysu's time in the desert last February and the time our Jesus spent in the desert 2,000 years ago. They were both there for long times and both went to pray. An evil being, who we call Satan, came to see Jesus and tempted him in three ways - to change a rock to bread (yes, Jesus could do that if he wished), to jump from a tall building and have God rescue him and to bow down to Satan and he would be made ruler of earth. Jesus said, "no" to all three offers and told Satan to leave him alone.
We then noticed that after Cle-as met Chihaysu while he was in the desert that she offered him three things: a technique to heal his mother of the AHT illness,that she will be a believer if he becomes her husband and that he is to "believe in your heart that your God wishes you to be my king and our alliance to be the restoration of our planet. Commit yourself to work with me to make this a reality. Lastly, I ask you to pledge that you will love no one in this world more than you love me. In return, I pledge that your God will be my God, my dear Chihaysu". The experiences were similar but not identical and I guess this is what happens in a parallel universe. It made us all think about our Jesus and his temptation.
As I told you we also had challenges. The boys stated that the conversion of Pav-ed who becomes Sav-ed after he was converted reminded them of the conversion of Saul who became Paul. We girls pointed out that the killing of Dustin in Caperston reminded us of the killing of a young man named Stephen, who was "stoned" to death many years ago. When Stephen was killed the man Saul was present and when Dustin was killed your Pav-ed was an observer. It is all very interesting and our youth leader says if we look very carefully there are other similarities between the events in Caperston and the events in Capernaum and Jerusalem in our world.
No more information about Matthew Paul except that his foster parents state that they will bring him to visit our church during special holidays we have coming up soon on Earth.
Hi all - I have been reading the story and I just noticed that there are swords and newly developed "light guns" on Caperston but no guns with gunpowder and bullets like here on earth. There are no planes in the sky, no bombers and we don't hear about drugs. So Caperston sounds like a safer place than earth.
Great game by Erbert making 23 out of 24 shots. I know some teams here on Earth that could use someone 8 feet 4 inches who can shoot that well.
Hi Laura and Darren,
Thank you for sharing and we all are amazed at the similarities between our worlds. We have asked Alex and he tells us that he is not ready to tell us about the "guns with bullets". He says it is because of his friend Kevin, who died because someone shot him with a bullet.
Alex says, "You are better off not hearing about guns" but the scientist reportedly is building a gun. These bullets certainly do not seem to be good. Also Alex has told us about your holidays. We have a Rememberence of the Dead day, and you may remember Chihaysu challenged Pontos for using this holiday to make money from the people by selling memorials at it.
Laura ... you asked a lot of questions so let me answer them. We brought Rachaeling to stay with Chihaysu's mother two days ago. She is comfortable there. Zester seems to have given up on all of his threats about using the light guns and he does not seem to be looking for Rachaeling any longer but we still feel it is safer where she is until her father Sav-ed returns.
Once we discovered the Hugapods were friendly, Jonas felt free to travel to Romas, where he met with Sav-ed. Sav-ed stated that he had much work to be done there. There is an uprising in Romas and even Princess Cle-as is at risk. He promised to return as soon as possible and sent Jonas back. Ammed is getting weaker each day. He is being looked after by Michaeling with help from Marcus' sister, Dawnling. We will be visiting with Ammed tomorrow after work.
Chihaysu remains in prison and Timus sees him once a week. We fear Zester is up to something as Timus states that he has placed a second guard to watch Chihaysu. It seems silly because Chihaysu could have left during the earthquake but did not. The guard who became a believer in God is named Lucas. After the earthquake he met us at a small prayer meeting at Michaeling's home. There we told him of Zester's threat, a while ago, to use the light guns on the Hugapod people. We told him that Zester appeared to have changed his mind but Lucas stated that he would visited the Hugapods to prepare them if Zester once again changed his mind as Zester has done so in the past. Lucas met with Erbert and even played the basket shooting game. He discovered that he was a good long-shooter and was invited to join a contest with the Hugapods next week.
Marcus is sharing with the Mountain youth the story of their jailed leaders and how they remained in jail after the earthquake. The mountain youth are very remorseful over what happened to Dustin and they are now calling him a hero for standing up for his beliefs. I will write to you after we meet with Ammed tomorrow night.
Dear friends, We are all sad.We visited Ammed last night. He was very ill but very gracious. He said, "I am ready to go". He then closed his eyes and a wisp of a cloud like substance arose from his body. Many of us were there. Michaeling and Rachaeling cried. Chihaysu's mother stated that Ammed was a good man, who was willing to admit his shortcomings and ask for forgiveness. She stated, "He is with God now. With Mattpaul, Kevin and Dustin". Marcus stated that that is good but too many people have died in too short a time.
We are still waiting for Sav-ed to return from Romas. I tried calling him on my compol but got no answer. It is probably too far away. Michaeling (she was always the smart one) stated that she heard that one of the hugapods walked for days to Romas then left Romas on the other side of their town and kept walking. He was wondering what was on the otherside of Romas and guess what he found ... Caperston. Michaeling thought about it and concluded that our world is like a giant ball and, if true, that is why our compols don't work to call Sav-ed. We are on the opposite side of the ball. That Racheaeling is smart and that is one reason I love her.
Dear friends from Earth
Jonas returned from seeing Sav-ed in Romas and once more Sav-ed is delayed. Apparently there is a rebellion in Romas and even Princess Cle-as is at risk. Do you remember the scientist who developed the light machine in the "Chest of Visions" chapter eight? Somehow he came to Romas and has developed an attachment to the compols people in Romas use. Their compols are similar to the ones we use but are able to have attachments which provide all types of operations. The scientist has now created an attachment which has the appearance of a Goddess the people in Romas worship. Her name is Vendite and she is the goddess of love. There are a few other Gods in Romas but Vendite is the one most often worshipped - perhaps for what she stands for.
There is a large statue of Vendite in the middle of Romas and the scientist is selling a compol attachment that resembles Vendite. It is promised that, if people pray to Vendite through the attachment and tell her whom they have feelings of love for, Vendite will bring this about. For those that do not have a boyfriend or girlfriend this is a wonderful thing. People are paying a great deal of money for these attachments.
Sav-ed learned that the attachment has something called a transmitter in it that sends people's messages to a computer. So if a boy says he likes a certain girl the message is saved by the computer. If the girl says she likes the boy, then there is a match. The compol then declares that the goddess Vendite has chosen each for each other and they are both advised to meet at the statue. Many couples have met there and the whole city praises the Goddess of Love for brings couples together.
Sav-ed spoke out against the Vendite image and revealed it as being false. However, those who have made a lot of money making these, are fighting back. Sav-ed teaches there is the unseen God to pray to and the scientist argues that only Vendite has brought lovers together. When the scientist and his friends learned that Sav-ed had spoken with Cle-as on several occasions, they demanded that the princess and King Fester step down from the throne.People in Romas do not know what to believe and Sav-ed told Jonas to return to Caperston to let us know that he does not know when he can return. Chihaysu remains in prison and the rumor is that, in the New Year, he will be put on trial for speaking out against the ruler Pontos. Zester is planning on making him an example of what can happen when people challenge the Ruler. The lake people of Caperston do not know who to believe while the mountain people, particularly the youth, fully support Chihaysu and oppose Zester.
Chihaysu was advised of the death of Ammed and states that he was a good man and strong. It takes courage to admit when someone does something wrong and to ask God for forgiveness. He asks the prison guard Lucas to take over Ammed's role as treasurer. Just before he died Ammed repaid all of his debt so now there are adequate funds for us when needed.
Have you had the special holidays Alex has told us about? He is not sure what date it is on earth. We are very interested as we have very few holidays in Caperston.
Alex left for Romas and took a direct route according to the trail mentioned by Jonas. The trail is relatively straight until a range of mountains between Caperston and Romas appears. Jonas advised Alex that he took a left turn to go around the mountains. It took Jonas, a healthy man, three and a half days when he returned to Caperston alone leaving Sav-ed behind. With Sav-ed it took five days to go to Romas.
Alex, in excellent shape from his basketball playing, reached the mountains early on the second morning. Using bushwhacking skills, learned in his hiking club, he decides to go up and over the mountain. He stated that he made the summit in three hours and could see Romas in the distance. He descended using the same techniques and was on the road to Romas in an additional two and a half hours. Arriving in late afternoon, Sav-ed expressed amazement that he made the journey in less than two days.
The word spread around Romas that a visitor from Caperston made the journey in less than two days. King Fector ordered Alex to appear and Sav-ed accompanied him. Also present were Princess Cle-as and Jezzie, the teenage daughter of King Fector's brother, herself by birth, a princess. King Fector asked Alex about his journey and Alex described it. He is intrigued by this technique called bushwhacking and Alex explained how he did a setting by tracking the sun. He was then able to determine the angle he needed to travel in order to go up and down the mountain in the shortest distance. He said the angle was a little less than ninety degrees.
Alex explained that, when bushwhacking, once the angle was set he simply made a sighting up then later down the mountain. He would look up the mountain for a large tree or a rock that was a little less than ninety degrees. He would then hike to that spot, take a new reading and head to the new landmark. "It is really easy but you need to take your time making sure the angle is correct". Since all of his actual bushwhacking was in the middle of the day, the angles he set were easier to do.
The King and all that listened to Alex were amazed at this technique. No one had ever used anything like it in Romas or in Caperston. Everyone, like Jonas, simply went around the mountains. King Fector was also intrigued by Alex's dark skin. He asked Alex how he got such a deep tan as people in Romas, unlike those in Caperston, work on getting tanned. Alex replies that he was born this way.
"And you were born tall?"
"I grew to be tall", Alex replied.
"Who is your mother and father?" the King inquired.
Alex was unsure how to respond and looked at Sav-ed, who nodded. So Alex shared the story of his travel to Caperston. All in attendance were very interested and gave Alex great attention. The King ended the gathering by welcoming Alex to Romas.
Princess Jezzie was smitten by Alex. She loved his dark skin and wavy hair. Even more so because she is tall for a young woman in Romas, she loved that he was taller than her. She told him she loved his sense of adventure. Princess Jezzie, like everyone in Romas, purchased a Vendite statue but previously had no particular person in mind. So she described her perfect companion as "tall, an adventurer yet courteous and mannerly".
But when she saw and heard Alex, she knew that decided that he would be her perfect companion . So she asked to speak with him via a messenger. While waiting for Alex, who she hoped would visit the next morning, she decided to challenge the scientist, who proclaimed that Vendite could bring all people together. Jezzie later told Alex that she never believed this claim. . She saw the scientist and asked, "When will Vendite find the perfect person for me?"
The scientist replied, "Just describe him and I am sure Vendite will respond for a princess". She described Alex, speaking to the statue as instructed.
The princess stated that her perfect man would be "tall, dark skin, curly hair and a bushwhacker". The scientist later admitted being troubled. He ids not know anyone who is tall, dark with curly hair in Romas and he certainly did not know what a bushwhacker did. He looked for men who have listed Princess Jezzie and found many who are interested. He choose "Tomas", who is relatively tall and used the tanning machine often. It is the best he could do but Tomas was almost twice the age of Princess Jezzie. When he arranged for both of them to meet, the princess was furious. She asks, "Why does Vendite dare to want me to meet an old man?" Quickly word got around Romas that Vendite failed the princess and suddenly the few people, who were single and had not yet bought a statue, were walking past the scientist at his booth selling statues.
The next morning Alex and Sav-ed met with Princess Jezzie and Alex described life on earth. Jezzie then asked if she can meet with Alex alone. Sav-ed looked at Alex and Alex nodded. Sav-ed excused himself stating that he had a meeting to attend. Upon leaving Jezzie becomes more aggressive with Alex. Alex stated that she invited him to sit on a couch with her, told him she wanted to go hiking and slowly snuggled up to him. Alex at first paused in telling us what happed.
"So what happed next?" I asked. Alex then admitted feeling very human and pleased. Jezzie told him how different he iwas and stroked his curly hair and kisses him on the cheek. "You were kissed by a Princess?" Michaeling responded.
"Well ... I am not sure how much more I want to say," Alex replied.
Alex admitted kissing her back then he said he turned away. Jezzie displayed a puzzled look and asked him if he is all right. They spend the next hour talking. Alex then stated that he has to meet with Sav-ed and that he really enjoyed being with her. She mentioned her privileges as Princess and that Alex could be her friend and her prince. Alex admitted that he found this to be an interesting offer and stated he was very surprised how quickly Princess Jezzie had taken such a liking to him. He agreed to see her again this time away from the palace where she lives. But he advised that he had to leave to report to Chihaysu the next day.
Hi Huchfee - the adventure in your world never seems to stop. We pray that Sav-ed efforts will slow the rebellion going on in Romas and we have faith that, even if there is a trial, Chihaysu will be vindicated.In regards to our holidays - the first one was about three weeks ago. It is a time of Thanksgiving for all that God has given us recognizing how fortunate we are. We get together in our churches to worship and then with our families. Usually the family gathering is a large meal and, yes, I admit I eat too much.
The next holiday is equally special. It is called Christmas. It celebrates the day our Jesus was born. He was born to poor people in an animal stable yet grew up to be the most admired man in the history of the world. Our Christmas is special for young children. As we remember God's gift of Jesus to our world, in such a way we give gifts to one another. There is a make believe old man who children are taught brings toys to each of their homes the night before Christmas. The toys are put under a decorated tree and when they wake up the next morning ... surprise and joy. We older youth also share gifts but the surprise is not the same. Christmas is now fivedays away.
What I like the most is the service at our church the night before. It is candlelit, very pretty and we tell the story of the coming of Jesus to our world a very long time ago ... by my calculations, as you keep time in Caperston, 80 generations ago.
Did Sav-ed return to Caperston? Is Chihaysu still in prison? We will remember you during our Christmas Eve service when we think of not only the joy of our savior, Jesus, being born but of the needs of those in our world who are less fortunate than we. I especialy think of Julia and her search for a safe home to bring Matthew Paul back to.
Hi Laura ...
Thank you for describing your holidays for us. Alex stated that he misses Christmas Eve service of all the times he had in your church. He will remain with us in Caperston and then leave for Romas again in a few days. He must advise Sav-ed of Chihaysu's upcoming trial and that things do not look good for Chihaysu. He said that he hopes to meet again with Princess Jezzie and to take her for a walk outside her palace. He is not sure when he will return.
Hi Laura and friends,
Well, the rumors are true and the trial of Chihaysu will begin on the fifthteenth day of the New Year which is the first day our court is open. In our world there are not a lot of trials. Every thirty days the court opens to see if anyone wants to have a trial. If so, the court hears the expressed concern and can decide whether a trial is appropriate. If so, a date is scheduled. When Sav-ed was here he was the judge for the trial. Since he disappeared (at least as far as most are concerned), Pontos the Ruler will be the judge.
The person asking for the trial is Zester and he came up with an old rule no one was aware of which says that anyone protesting to the ruler shall be tried and, if guilty, put to death. Zester will argue that Chihaysu spoke out against the Ruler's decree that Rachaeling marry him even though she did not want to. He will argue that Chihaysu encouraged her to break the law.
I finally got to see Chihaysu two days ago. We spoke for some time and I told him about your holidays: Thanksgiving and Christmas. He liked these and told me that the Hugapods have a type of Thanksgiving where they take time to have a feast and thank God for all he has given them. Chihaysu said that we have many things to learn from the Hugapods as their beliefs are very strong. Chihaysu is not worried about the trial and believes that God will not allow the unfaithfulness of Zester to win out over his own faithfulness. Whatever the consequence, he is mentally prepared.
More has been learned about Zester's argument against Chihaysu. Zester will lead those accusing Chihaysu of saying things that are troubling to faithful leaders of the community.He will argue that someone has to be in charge and make the rules and that is Pontos. Chihaysu not only spoke out against the unfair law. He encouraged others to also do so. He is trying to take power from Pontos and using a "silly little rule" as a reason to get the people angry with Pontos. Simply speaking Zester claims Chihaysu is a revolutionary.
The penalty for being a revolutionary is death and buriel with the criminals, unidentified, alone and unvisited. When the people heard this, they gasped. No one had been killed for their crimes in many generations - back to the time of the war that freed Caperston from Romas over 10 generations ago!
Our Christmas is gone. We had a nice surprise. At the Christmas Eve service the foster parents of Matthew Paul brought him to our service. He looked so different - all dressed up and he looked taller and even stronger. Those foster parents must be feeding him well. The only sad news was that Matthew Paul learned that his mother Julia had disappeared. He used to see her every seven days. Then it became twenty days and now - no visit for a very long time. He told us his caseworker (someone who tries to keep the family together while planning to reunite them in the future) said he continues to try to locate Julia but the last time they spoke was almost 50 days ago.
We promised to pray for his mother and he said Matthew Paul stated he would do the same. He also said he likes your story of Caperston which he reads on a computer he has at home. Please keep us informed about the trial. We are very, very interested.
January 12thDear Laura ... they had day one of the trial and not much happened. Zester stated that he will present his evidence so strongly that Pontos will have no doubt that Chihaysu is guilty. He quoted a law that was so old no one, even Pontos, had heard of it. It was written twenty generations ago and stated that the ruler had the authority to require anyone to show respect by offering his daughter as a wife to the Ruler or his designee. The problem is - the rule did not state who a "designee" was. So Zester stated that it was an appointee of the Ruler, namely, in this case, himself.
Chihaysu replied that an old rule was simply that - an old rule written for a time in the past. He concluded that Caperston has new rules established by the unseen God who rules over our hearts. The real trial begins tomorrow and I will be able to observe it! I have never seen a trial.
Trial began with Zester asking several citizens to speak. He asked them what they heard Chihaysu say on September 2nd and each one said the same thing. Chihaysu taught "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." The testimony seemed correct to me and Chihaysu did not dispute any of it. In fact, he said very little. This was the day for Zester to make the case against Chihaysu and Zester reminded Pontos that the choice of marriage could be made by individuals but sometimes the law calls for another action, that of obedience to, yes, the wishes of the Ruler.
At the end of the day, Zester quoted the law about giving respect to the Ruler. He argued that without respect, there would be chaos in Caperston. He repeatedly returned to that theme - chaos in Caperston. He argued that respect was absolutely needed. After he finished, I heard many people saying that Zester's argument made sense. How can anyone rule effectively without respect?
Pontos let Zester begin the second day by giving a summary. Zester was very effective. He quoted another old law ..."Rulers earn respect because of their responsibility to maintain order in the community. In return citizens shall demonstrate their respect and appreciation by each offering a gift. The gift could be an annual tax or, the ruler can excuse the tax payment and ask for the hand of a citizen's daughter in marriage for himself or for his designee. If this offer is made, the marriage must take place within 60 days of the offer." The argument looked good but someone pointed out that the incident which was on trial was that Chihaysu argued against forcing Rachaeling to marry Zester. Chihaysu was not Rachaeling's father. Pav-ed was. And Pav-ed was assumed to be dead. We then realized that there was a case to be made against Zester's argument.
Later in the afternoon Chihaysu got to speak. To our surprise he did not make the argument that Pav-ed, not he, would be the one to offer Rachaeling to Pontos as an example of his respect. Rather he reiterated his belief that the unseen God gave individual's the freedom of choice in whom they would marry. He concluded, "I have faith that the unseen God will persuade you, Pontos, to make the right decision". Pontos then stated that there would be one more day of the trial - a day for the citizens of Caperston to speak. We all met to identify someone who would present the argument that Pav-ed, now known as Sav-ed, is the father of Rachaeling and only he could give the required permission for Rachaeluing to marry. No one really wanted to be the speaker until Timus reluctantly said, "I am a new follower of Chihaysu and not even an official follower. However, if no one else will present this argument to Pontos tomorrow, I will do so". We all thanked Timus.
Yesterday the trial was long and event filled so I did not have time to write. It went on until the late afternoon. Timus began in the morning by making the argument that only Sav-ed could give his daughter to Pontos as designee as Chihaysu was not the father. We all knew this but Pontos could not consider this fact until it was actually presented at trial. Then several citizens spoke of Chihaysu and his teachings. They testified that Caperston was a friendlier place since Chihaysu began teaching ideas such as "Love your neighbor in a manner as you love yourself". We began to clap when we heard these things but Pontos rose his hand in their air and asked for silence so that he could think about these testimonies.
Zester was given the opportunity to question all of the witnesses and asked the question, "What makes you think things are better? Aren't the Mountain youth rebelling?" The witnesses responded that they were rebelling because he and Pontos treated them poorly and Zester responded, "Really ... are there hungry people in Caperston? Are there people without homes?"
The trial seemed to be winding down with strong arguments made on both sides. Then, without warning, we heard a disturbance in the back of the courtroom. Suddenly Sav-ed appeared. Zester's face turned white. Pontos was momentarily speechless then stated, "My friend, Pav-ed, we thought you were dead". Pav-ed replied, "Yes, my friend, Pontos. I am dead. Dead to my old ways, saved from my closed-minded ideas. I have had a vision and been given a new name, Sav-ed".
Zester saw his opportunity, "So you have had a vision and been given a new name?" He turned and faced Pontos, "My Ruler ... when I last saw Pav-ed he was on a mission you ordered us to complete. He was drinking - a lot of wine - and was babbling to himself. I saw him stagger to the side of the boat then lose his balance and fall overboard. We tried to see him to rescue him but it was dark and foggy. We could not see him but heard him continue to babble, something about the beauty of wine and how it makes you feel.
Pontos thanked Zester and turned to Sav-ed. "Pav-ed you were my friend, tell us who you saw in your vision". Sav-ed paused, "My friend and honorable Ruler. It was not see a ghost or even the unseen God of Chihaysu, who I saw? It was my son Mattpaul". There was a gasp in the courtroom. Everyone loved Mattpaul and admired him for his courage. They had also learned of the vision of Mattpaul playing in the heavenly kickuml game (see chapter of The Chest of Visions). Pontos repled, "You saw Mattpaul? And what did he say?"
Sav-ed replied, "He said 'Father, now will you believe?' And I did. One last thing, my Honorable Ruler. I was not drinking that night. I was discussing a matter with Zester when, he lost control and, in anger, pushed me over the rail of the boat. I saw him look over the boat but he made no effort to rescue me".
Zester interjected, "Pontos, who will you believe myself, your favorite appointed official, or Pav-ed who disgraced you by drinking and then falling overboard when the mission, you sent us on, was about to begin?" He then pointed his finger at Chihaysu who suddenly stood up . Zester said, "It is this man who has filled citizens of Caperston with lies. They do not know what to think and who to believe".
Pontos replied, "You are right Zester. Even I do not know who or what to believe." Just then I knew I had to speak. I timidly raised my hand and many were not aware but Pontos was. "Huchfee, do you want to testify?"
"Yes, your honor, I do."
"Then come forward to the stand. Do you promise to tell the truth?"
"Yes, I do."
"Then can you assist me in understanding the truth? " Pontos asked. I then told him how I was on the boat with Zester and Sav-ed and had witnessed their argument when Sav-ed asked Zester to reconsider his plans for the Mountain youth. I told Pontos that he had called Sav-ed a "weak old man" twice then pushed him over the side of the boat. Pontos asked me if Sav-ed was drinking and I said "No, there was no wine on the boat". Everyone gasped, then silence.
Pontos thanked me for my testimony and I was glad. It was hard testifying and I was very happy to see Alex. I had so many questions for him.
None of us knew when Alex would return but we now know that Sav-ed and he returned two days ago, a full day before Sav-ed appeared at the trial. They stayed at Sav-ed's home and the family, even Rachaeling, told no one. In this manner Sav-ed's appearance at Chihaysu's trial would be a total surprise to all of us. The trial seemed to turn in Chihaysu's favor particularly after Sav-ed testified. We all decided to go home and relax and Alex, who sat in the back of the courtroom during our testimonies said he looked forward to seeing us the next day.
We got together the next morning (yesterday) and Alex told Michaeling and I an amazing story.I asked if I could share it with you and he replied, "absolutely". After arriving in Romas Alex met with Sav-ed and advised him of the trial. Sav-ed had two meetings he had to make and then he could leave for Caperston. They calculated the trial would continue for at least ten days so they had time to leave in two days. The trip took six days as the weather was very warm and Sav-ed tires easily. They had calculated on needing an extra day so they still arrived a day before Sav-ed's testimony was needed.
Alex did take Jezzie out of Romas for a walk towards the mountain range that separates Romas and Caperston. Jezzie is in good physical shape and they were able to reach the path which Alex took to ascend the mountains on the way back to Caperston. Jezzie asked him to explain bushwhacking while they were at the mountain and Alex did. Alex advised that she responded, "That's really hard to do. Finding the right landmark then climbing the mountain without a trail. If I were to visit Caperston, I think I would have to go around the mountains."
Alex replied, "Of course, that is the way I will return to Caperston with Sav-ed. Since it takes longer we will have to leave the day after tomorrow."
Jezzie was upset that Alex had so little time with her but completely understood, when hearing of Chihaysu's trial why they had to leave so soon.
The night before Sav-ed and Alex left Alex and Jezzie had the same dream. In the dream they walked along the mountain trail Alex made while bushwhacking over the mountain. They walked up the mountain for a few minutes and a second path appeared on the right. While standing at the junction of the paths, Alex stated that he did not see this path when he came to Romas a few days before. It was a long narrow path and Alex told us he sensed a familiarity with the path.
In his dream Jezzie took his hand, stating "Let's go down this new path". Suddenly a beam of light transported them to a door. There was a window in the door.
Jezzie inquired, "Alex, where are we?" and snuggled close to him.
Alex looks through the window in the door and replied, "We are at earth, where I lived. It is on the other side of this door".
Jezzie looked through the window and saw a scene very much like what Chihaysu saw. She looked at Alex and replied, "This is your home?"
Alex answered, "It is ... would you like to enter?"
Jezzie kissed him on the cheek and replied "Yes".
As he was about to turn the door handle, Alex paused and looked at Jezzie. "You know that you will no longer be a princess on earth. You will simply be an ordinary person like the rest of us."
Jezzie stepped away from Alex. "Oh." She then looks through the window again. "I will be like that plain looking girl?"
Alex looked through the window and saw Laura on a bench reading. "Yes ... you will be like her, my friend Laura."
Jezzie puts both hands on his waste and replied, "Alex, thank you for showing me your world. I would love to see more of it, like those buildings in the distance but ..." She once again kissed him on the cheek, then went to kiss him on the lips. Alex backed away.
"Alex ... let's go back to Romas where we can be Prince and Princess and live in my palace. We can love each other and do whatever we want to do." She took a step back and turned. A flash of light appeared and then she was gone. Alex stated that he was shaken. He had been transported by the light but had never seen the light in action.
Alex stated that he looked back through the window and saw Laura, neat and plain looking, but always there for him at his most trying times. He peeked down the corridor from which he came, thinking of the excitement he felt the last few days with Jezzie. Alex admitted that Jezzie was everything he could want ... beautiful, exciting and very interested in the things he was interested in. He relived in his mind the trip they had taken to the mountains away from the comforts of the palace. She was very interested when he talked about the Caring Creator, God. He knew he now had an opportunity to return to earth or to return to Romas. He had a decision to make that very moment.
Alex looked through the portal in the door and saw Laura place her book next to her. He then noticed that the book was a black spiral notebook, not a novel. Laura looked straight at him though he assumed it was only space that she saw. She then picked up the notebook and read what she had written - a letter to Alex.
Alex stated that he could see her reading but could not hear her. Suddenly and mysteriously, as Laura continued to read, a transcription of her words appeared in the sky directly above her. When Laura paused, the transcription also paused.
Laura's letter to Alex stated that she and their friends miss him as he has been gone for eight months. She reported that his basketball coach advised her that four colleges called and were interested in possibly giving Alex a college scholarship to play basketball at their school.
She continued, "I really miss the long conversations we have had but I want what is best for you. You will always be welcome to return to earth but if Caperston is what is best, then I want you to remain there".
After reading this phrase, Laura paused (as did the transcription in the sky) for her to wipe a tear from her cheek. She ended with ... "Where are you really Alex? I sense you are still here but I know you are not." She then looked to the sky, wiped a tear trickling down her cheek and walked away.
Alex told us that he thought Laura's letter was her suggestion that he return to our world. So he so turned towards the tunnel and the beam of light swept him away to the Romas market where he immediately saw Sav-ed, who has just arrived at a breakfast shop.
While eating and planning their return trip to Caperston, Sav-ed reported that earlier that morning the people of Romas became furious with the scientist who created the small statues of Vendite. They are not only refusing to buy them, they have decided they were fraudulent. Many former purchasers brought their statues, threw them down at the larger statue and stomped on them with their feet. The panicking scientist announced that he had research to be done on the I-en particle he discovered and immediately left for Caperston. The people are now questioning if the discovery of the I-en particle, his claim to fame, was also a false discovery like his claims about Vendite. Since things are now calming down in Romas, Sav-ed assumed the timing was right to return to Caperston. Alex and he left, as planned, early in the afternoon. Alex carried a large pack on his back, food, bedding and supplies for both Sav-ed and himself.
Alex later met with Princess Jezzie who was pleased ... "My Prince has decided to return", she said to him. She continued, "My dream," which was identical to Alex's dream, "has helped me understand that my prince is on our planet for a reason. Go and return with Sav-ed to Caperston."
Alex responded, "Thank you, my princess, for understanding. I will return to you as soon as it is possible."
Tomorrow the trial of Chihaysu reconvenes. I do not think I will have to testify again but I will attend in case I am needed. Alex advised us that he wishes to testify.
I did not ask you after my last long letter if you did, indeed, sense Alex was present when you were reading your letter to him. What, if anything, did you sense? All of these events are so unusual and we are trying to truly understand what is happening.
Yesterday, Chihaysu's trial resumed and also ended. Pontos advised that neither Sav-ed or I needed to testify any longer. He asked if anyone else would like to speak. Alex raised his hand.
Pontos asked Alex to come to the stand and share whatever he could share that might be helpful. Alex told the story of how he waved to the fisherman, persuaded him to rescue Sav-ed, swam to shore as there was no room in the boat and then led Sav-ed to Chihaysu.
When Alex finished, Pontos asked Zester if he wished to question Alex. Zester stated that he would not.
It took only a few seconds but seemed to last forever. Ten seconds I would guess of total silence in the courtroom. Then Pontos spoke, "I think ... no, I am sure that I know the truth. Zester ... stand up. I find you guilty of attempted murder and sentence you immediately to prison. Guards take him away."
It was then that Zester stunned all of us. We had always wondered why Pontos seemed to put trust in him and, at this moment in the trial, Zester reached forward towards Pontos with his right hand his palmup and called out, "Father".
Silence filled the courtroom. Everyone was stunned.
Zester continued, "Father ... how could you do this to me?"
Whispers could be heard, "What does he mean? Is he mad?"
Pontos broke the silence with, "My son ... I love you more than anyone but you have deceived me and all of Caperston at this trial. For now you must go. I will talk with Pav-ed and ask for his advice." Pontos looked at the guards and said "Take him away but do not mistreat him as he did to Mattpaul. Make sure he is comfortable and fed".
Then he turned to Chihaysu ... "My good man. I am not sure I am ready to believe in the unseen God, of which you speak. But one thing I know. You are a good man and now you are free". A cheer went up in the courtroom.
Then he turned to Sav-ed. "My friend Pav-ed, I am overjoyed that you are alive. So you go by the name Sav-ed now?"
"Yes, I do".
"Well Sav-ed ... Come see me with your lovely wife for dinner this evening. We have much to discuss."
He turned to me, "Thank you Huchfee. Your testimony made the difference".
Then he turned to Alex, "Thank you, son, for saving the life of a very special man."
Then to everyone in the courtroom he turned, "Let the truth be known throughout Caperston. This trial is over. Good day everyone".
Chihaysu left with Sav-ed to talk about all the events in Romas, before Sav-ed was to meet with Pontos for dinner. Rachaeling and Michaeling came to me congratulating me for being brave enough to stand up to Zester. Alex walked off to Lake Gael alone. And now my friends, I am tired. I will update you soon.
January 27thHuchfee - wow. Someone should write a book about all that is happening in Caperston. We will add you, Chihaysu, Sav-ed and all the citizens of Caperston to our prayer list. We also keep Alex in our prayers. What an adventure he has had and what difficult decisions he has had to make. Please keep in touch and we understand if you need some time before writing again.
Here on Earth we are very worried about Matthew Paul and his mother. There is a court hearing coming up soon (sort of like your trial of Chihaysu) and if she does not appear we do not know what the judge will do. We do not want JUlia to lose Matthew Paul but our pastor stated there are rules that she has to follow. Usually she has a year to do what the judge ordered so please pray for Julia and Matthew Paul as we are praying for all of you.
Dear Laura and friends ...
Huchfee showed me how to communicate with you through my compol so here I am trying.
When Chihaysu was released he advised that he wanted to spend time with his mother. Of course we all understood. She was terribly worried. He advised that he would meet with us in fifteen days and that day is coming soon. There is a rumor that Chihaysu went to visit with the Hugapods. It will be very interesting to hear what he has to say when we meet with him.
Pontos will be making an announcement about some new plans he has for Caperston at the end of our month which is twenty days from now. Zester remains in prison. How is Matthew Paul doing? Has his mother been found. Now that things are calm here in Caperston we must place our prayers to benefit Matthew Paul.
Dear Michaeling ... we are so happy to hear that Chihaysu is free and look forward to hear of what should be good news from Caperston. Like you, we are stunned by the news about Zester. We agree that Pontos being his father explains some things. We look forward to hearing more.
We had an unusual Friday night meeting because of bad weather predicted for the upcoming Sunday. I am happy to report that most of the youth group members are reading your story on the Christianyouthgroup website and want me to share how the freedom of Chihaysu is an answer to their prayers. Imagine that - we can pray for people in a parallel universe and our prayers are answered. What a great God we both have.
You asked about Matthew Paul and we do not have any current news. Our pastor was at our meeting and he stated that hee will contact the pastor of the church where Matthew Paul attends with his foster family. Our youth director stated that maybe some representatives of our youth group can visit Matthew Paul at his church. We hope so. Once we hear more we will let you know.
Dear Laura, Darren and friends
Thank you for writing and we, in Caperston, are hoping that you will get to see Matthew Paul soon. We will be meeting with Chihaysu tomorrow and he has let us know he has two important announcements to make. We will let you know after we meet with him. We think one has to do with a visit to Romas but have no idea what the other will be.
Dear Laura and friends
Chihaysu never ceases to amaze us. We met with him two days ago and he announced that he will be leaving for Romas but he has some important business to do. First, he asked Sav-ed if he will take over and lead us in his absence. Sav-ed has agreed but, first, he must travel to Romas at the request of Pontos. He stated that Pontos requested that he keep the information about Zester confidential but did state that his visit to Romas did involve Zester. We all stated that we understood the need for him to keep information confidential.
Now it was Chihaysu's turn to shock us. He said that he had recently met with the Hugapods and learned something from Erbert and his people. He learned how powerful forgiveness is. He is planning to travel to Romas after Sav-ed returns but, in the meantime, he plans to meet with Zester. He wants to tell Zester that he forgives him for all that Zester did to him.
We all responded, "No, don't do this. If there ever was an enemy it is Zester."
Chihaysu replied, "Yes, he was our enemy but if he is ever to be our friend and companion I have to begin to reach out to him and forgive him".
Alex hung his head as Chihaysu spoke. He is realizing that he was so angry at God when Kevin was killed that he forgot about the actual killer. He stated "Who was he? Was he a drug addict looking to steal goods that he could sell to get money to buy drugs? Or was he a concerned father trying to obtain milk and food for his family in a robbery that went terribly wrong?" Alex stated that he now feels that he has business back on earth to complete.
Alex then asked if he also can go to Romas. Chihaysu agrees but states Alex can only stay in Romas for a short time as he feels Alex can be of great assistance to Sav-ed. Sav-ed agrees and tells Alex he has an important role of teacher and leader for the evolving Caperston church. All youth are in agreement.
I need to really think about this matter of forgiveness. It took all of my courage to testify against Zester at Chihaysu's trial and now Chihaysu suggests that I join him in forgiving Zester? Maybe I need to speak with Erbert myself.
Dear Friends from Earth,
Chihaysu met with us a couple of days ago and expressed his discouragement that Zester refused to accept his offer of forgiveness. He states that he needs time to reflect on this and other things and will be going to the desert, the area where he first met Cle-as a year ago. At the request of Alex, he will invite Alex to join him as they have much to talk about and serious matters in common. He hopes meditation and prayer will help him overcome his discouragement. He is postponing his trip to Romas for a few weeks.
I am very happy with the recent turn of events in Caperston and I am hoping for the same with Matthew Paul.
I particularly enjoyed reading about the basketball-like abilities of Erbert. My team, the New York Knicks, could really use Erbert for their team this year. It is good that Alex got to play with Erbert and the other Hugapods. The American game is quite different than the Hugapod game and I am sure all enjoyed playing with him.
Friends: Forgiveness is a difficult topic. I applaud Chihaysu for reaching out to Zester. Maybe, in time, Zester will accept his offer.
May God be with us all as the trials in our world continue. Horrible things are happening particularly some incidents of violence in public schools. There is a controversy about our gun laws and our leaders cannot find a way to agree on a solution. Please keep us all in your prayers.
Alex returned to Caperston after spending three days in the desert with Chihaysu. They discussed many topics and had a night of quiet and meditation ... no discussion after dinner until it was time for bed. Alex advised that this was a challenging couple of hours for him but when he finished and crawled into his bed roll, he felt at peace. He also stated that he noticed that Chihaysu would sometimes hum a tune to himself. We asked what tune and Alex stated that he didn't recognize it.On the first day he and Chihaysu hiked with camping gear on their backs. When they got to their campsite, they unloaded their gear but did not set up. They had gotten a late start and Chihaysu wanted to bring Alex to a special spot in the desert he had visited before. Alex and he then hiked for quite some time before Chihaysu stopped and pointed. Look Alex, between the two mountains.
Alex looked and saw the setting sun about ten degrees above the horizon. It was just now appearing perfectly in the middle of the two mountains. The sky was beginning to turn a mix of red and orange. Chihaysu said, "What a beautiful world our Caring Creator has made for us. It is the most beautiful sight in all of Caperston and it is in the Mountain Village". Alex agreed.
They returned to camp and spent some time setting up, cooked a stew dinner and laid back and looked at the stars. It reminded Alex of the night he and I looked at the stars and, at first, wondered where earth was until we realized we were in different universes. Alex shared that looking at the stars brought peace to him and helped him put things bothering or challenging him into perspective.
The next day there was another hike - out towards Romas. Chihaysu loves to walk. He and Alex talked about many things and on the way back the topics narrowed to two. First, how did it happen that both Chihaysu and Alex received an opportunity to travel between universes. Why were each of them along with Princess Jezzie chosen? Would Alex receive another opportunity to return to earth or has this possibility passed him by when he recently returned from the portal to the universe of earth?
The second topic was equally important to Alex. How should he respond to Princess Jezzie's interest in him?
Alex stated that Chihaysu listened carefully. He replied that God, our Caring Creator, because he cares listens to our wishes. On several occasions Alex expressed a wish to come to Caperston. God waited until events in Alex's life made him ready. The loss in the basketball game brought Alex to the point that he would be able to learn from the Kickuml game which he was a referee in. In addition Alex came just in time to save the two lives of the girls being attacked by Zester and to be available in the rescue of Sav-ed. It was all planned perfectly but, Chihaysu pointed out, Alex had to take brave steps not once but twice to enter through that door, which was a portal between the universes.
Alex stated that they discussed other important doors in their lives. There was the door of our hearts. Alex said he shared one of his favorite Bible verses with Chihaysu. Revelation 3:20 reads: "Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me." Chihaysu stated that he had never heard this verse but that it was beautiful. Alex replied that is a door we have to constantly open ... from the beginning of the morning to the end of day. He then asked Chihaysu, "Where is God before he comes into our hearts? Chihaysu replied. "I think he is always there. Opening the door of our heart is another way of paying attention".
Alex recalled the discussion about the singularity existent right when time began. Angeling suggested that God was in the singularity and, when it exploded, a little bit of God went everywhere. If so, then God is in all of ourselves and we do simply have to open the door of our hearts to hear his call. The conversation lasted well into the night and Chihaysu suggested discussing Alex' second concern the next day.
The next day, after their morning walk, Chihaysu asked Alex to sit and he began. He recounted all of his encounters with Princess Cle-as and his growing conviction that he belongs with her with the goal of bringing Caperston and Romas together. When it came to Princess Jezzie, second in line to the throne, Chihaysu advised Alex to carefully think through the many things he would be giving up in order to pursue this relationship. He reminded Alex of his unfinished business on earth - to learn about the man who shot and killed his best friend, Kevin. "You need to resolve that matter or it will haunt you all of your life." It was a long and honest conversation between the two men and Alex was ready for the night long meditation that was to come.
Alex still has not come a final decision regarding Princess Jezzie and he does want to see her again. This time he is more prepared.
Chihaysu remains in the desert meditating and praying, this time alone. We expect him back soon. Will he go to Romas? We do not know. Huchfee
March 14thTo Alex, Huchfee and all our friends in Caperstan ...
Wow. So much is happening in Caperston and in Romas. So Alex met a princess. We always wanted the best for you, Alex and we understand why you may wish to stay in Caperston.
Alex ... We understand that there are important decisions for Chihaysu and yourself to make and it is wise for you to consult with Chihaysu. It appears the two of you have had quite a talk for three days. We are not surprised. Alex ... you always had interesting thoughts to share.
I do have to share some bad news from earth.
Huchfee ... you will recall that Darren wrote to you last month about challenging times on earth and about a debate about gun violence. Of course everyone is aware of this problem but we all say, "Not in my school." Well it didn't happen in the school during the day but on the basketball court in the evening. It made no sense! We were in the championship game for the second year in a row. All of our players played well and Toby led the way scoring nineteen points. We won the game and Toby went over to shake the hands of the opponents. They accepted his congratulations for a game well played. He turned to join the team and shots were heard. Two players on the opponents, one of their cheerleaders and their coach were hit. Toby was also hit. Three people died and the others are in the hospital. Toby is still alive but a bullet grazed his head and he is still unresponsive.
The shooter was a graduate of our school. We just won the championship. Why would he shoot at players on the other team who had just lost the game and had graciously accepted congratulations from Toby. It makes no sense. He was tackled by a security guard while he tried to reload. He was arrested but so far is not saying why he did this. It happened here ... our school ... something we never thought was possible!
Alex ... Toby was your best friend on the basketball team last year and the doctors state that Toby would benefit from hearing from people he is close to. Their tests seem to indicate that he can hear but so far he has not reponded to other friends and his family. His mother after a visit last night with him told us, "I wish Alex was here. Toby would respond to him I am sure."
Alex ... I know you have special things happening in Caperston but, if at all possible, Toby needs you to return.
Your friend, Laura
Laura ... Let me first tell you that Alex is very upset with what happened to Toby. He wants to help but does not know how.
Chihaysu returned from his meditation the same day you wrote to us. He announced that he decided that he had to go to Romas. He will leave the leadership of the believers to Saved, Sav-ed replied that he is prepared to continue all of Chihaysu's efforts to share the story of God, our Caring Creator and to work towards bringing the Valley People and the Mountain people together as equals and in harmony with one another. He believes that as others begin to pray to God that they will see how equal we all are in God's sight.
Alex told me that he and Chihaysu are meeting privately tomorrow and that he will ask Chihaysu to assist him to return to earth. As of now no one knows how to find that fork in the road much less the portal to return to earth. Either Alex or I will write to you once more is learned as to how to make this happen. So far, it is a mystery.
Things are always changing here in Caperston. Amidst all that has been happening I have my duties as chairman of the new leader's committee. So far Pontos has let us delay these meetings in order to focus on Chihaysu's decision making, Alex' challenges and the role that Sav-ed is taking on to be the new leader of the believers.
Alex did meet with Chihaysu as planned and told him what happened to Toby. Chihaysu responded that there are now three reasons for Alex to return to earth. He needs to help Toby, to find out what actually happened to the killer of Kevin so that he can work on forgiveness and to share with those on earth the advantages of playing a game without keeping score, something he learned when refereeing the kickuml game last year.
Alex agreed stating "I know I must go back but will the opportunity ever come?"
Chihaysu replied, "You must take time to pray and tell God why you want to return to earth. At the same time but in a separate location I will meditate and pray for guidance."
Two days passed and then Chihaysu walked to his favorite meditation spot on the shores of Lake Gael. Alex walked part of the way with him but found a spot just past the memorial for the Mountain youth killed by Zester and his soldiers just after Alex arrived in Caperston. Alex stated that this was a place he found a connection with both earth and Caperston.
Chihaysu reported to Michaeling, Marcus and myself that it did not take long for him to receive some guidance. His recent friend Gabby came down the trail to Lake Gael. "So you called?" Gabby stated as he approached Chihaysu. "What's up?"
Chihaysu looked up, surprised at how soon Gabby had arrived. "I have a question, not for me but for the youth from earth, Alex."
So ... what's the question?"
"Alex needs to go home."
" Did he get lost?" Gabby asked. You know the trail to your home where he is staying is the first left down the path."
"No ... not to my home. To his home on earth."
"Oh ... well" Gabby's pause was creating a nervousness in Chihaysu. "You know, my friend, that is a very difficult task. You see, if Alex goes home that would knock off the balance."
" Balance," Chihaysu exclaimed. "What balance?"
Gabby again paused and appeared to be going over what he was going to say. 'My friend ... we do live in parallel universes. A long time ago three men took the light tunnel to earth on a mission. They had no uncertainty when they came to the portel. They opened it and walked around until they met a man named 'Abe". They gave Abe a message from God then returned to the spot where they arrived on earth. At that time one of the three men, Enos, told the other two that he had decided to stay on earth so only two returned."
"So what does that have to do with Alex. Alex and I were actually wondering if anyone besides Alex had completed the journey between our worlds. We do not know when he will return. So it is nice to know that it has happened before."
Gabby replied, "Oh, a fair number have taken the road less taken but I know of only these three and Alex who opened the door."
Gabby looked up at the deepening darkness and noted that the stars were exceedingly beautiful that night. He then continues, "You see, my friend. Earth and Caperston are in parallel universes. So when three went to earth and only two returned earth owed Caperston a person and that person was ..."
"Alex". Chihaysu wished he had not acknowledged this. "Are you sure that earth truly owes Caperston a person?" Gaby responded, "Well, not really ... it is something I read about years ago. It ...it explains why Alex was able to travel to Caperston seemingly so easily."
Chihaysu paused and took his turn to gaze at the sky... "I understand your reasoning except ... except for one thing. If earth owed Caperston a person and Alex became that person, why did he get the opportunity to return a short time ago?"
"Don't know" Gabby replied.
"Well , my ... friend ... can you find out?",/p.
Gabby stepped back and it seemed he was about to leave but then asked Chihaysu, "How about asking me something easy like explaining the differential equation of Caperston life forms and how they differ from Romas life forms?"
Chihaysu stood up and took a step to Gabby, who stepped backwards a step. The two men repeated this dance three more times when Chihaysu stopped and, his voice raising , called out "Gabby".
O.K. ... I will go check. I can't make any promised" Then down the path he walked.
Chihaysu muttered to himself, "Not much help there". He thought of going to see Alex to ask if he had seen Gabby walking towards him and now away from him but decided otherwise. He knelt down in prayer once again calling out, "Oh Caring Creator ... I know you care about Alex, who is a fine young man. He has done much for Caperston but now he is needed at home. " A tear came down Chihaysu's right cheek, "Please God ... please help me help him".
Just then he heard a rumble in the bushes behind him. He turned and there was his friend Gabby. "You got back so soon with good news I trust".
Gabby then explained that the third man did stay on earth for some time but also did return to Caperston. Since he had not obeyed his orders to return, he wandered to Romas where he lived out his life. It was his passage back and forth which opened the door for Alex to also have a passage back and forth.
Chihaysu wondered out loud, "Does this mean that Alex can receive a second chance to return?"
Gabby heard his mumble and replied, "The rule is the half - life rule of nature. Alex got the opportunity to return 210 days after coming to Caperston. Now in half that time or 105 days later he will once again find himself at the fork in the road. The choice will seem much harder this time but, if he chooses the right fork, he will be brought to the portal. If he returns to Caperston, he will then have half of 105 days or 52 and a half before the opportunity again arises. This will continue until there is less than a day left. At that point there will be no more opportunities."
Chihaysu felt joy coming to his heart. He closed his eyes and raised his hands to a now fully blackened sky. "Thank you, oh Caring Creator, for Alex' opportunity and thank you for your messenger Gabby". When Chihaysu opened his eyes and looked around, Gabby was gone.Huchfee
March 30thDear Huchfee,
Thank you for sharing and we all recognize that Alex has done much for the people of Caperston and I am sure he has learned much from Chihaysu and all of you. It is time for him to return. When will the 105 days be up?
We will continue to keep you in our prayers and we are glad there are plans for the growth of the believers in both Caperston and in Romas.
Dear Laura ...
In answer to your question I am not sure when the 105 days are up. I will have to check with Alex. He left with Chihaysu to visit Romas and to speak with Princess Jezzie. He will tell her that he is planning to return to earth. The princess may not be happy with this decision.
Otherwise, we had a celebration and almost all the people of Caperston, even the Hugapods, came. Pontos introduced his appointed leaders, six of us. There were two Mountain People (Marcus and Dawnling), three from the Valley (Michaeling, Timus and myself) and one Hugapod (their leader Erbert). Jonas did a wonderful drawing which includes the leaders, Pontos and his secretary, Lindaling. I am sending it along with this letter.
We had one meeting later that day and, after deciding how to identify problems to be discussed and solved, Pontos gave us a difficult one. What is he to do with Zester? Zester is still in jail and, you will remember, refused to apologize when Chihaysu offered to forgive him. Erbert suggested that he talk with him as the Hugapods have their forgiveness activities every afternoon but we decided to wait on making the decision. Michaeling reminded us, as she always does, to pray about it and Marcus stated that we should wait until Chihaysu returns to discuss it with him.
So our first dilemma is before us and we want to be careful before advising Pontos of our recommendations.
Is there any update on Toby? And how about Matthew Paul?
Hi Huchfee ...
We know you have a challenge ahead regarding Zester. We believe on earth that even the greatest sinners have a chance at redemption as our God is by nature forgiving. But repentence is necessary. Just a few days ago the sister of a woman, violently killed by an angry young man, spoke to the court. She began by stating how much she loved her sister and ended by saying to the murderer "I forgive you". The courtroom, filled with angry, vengeful people found itself transformed by this amazing display of grace by one so offended by the killer's actions.
I do not know if this story helps but forgiveness is a powerful tool that changes our world and it can change yours.
You asked about Matthew Paul. He came to our church on Easter Sunday with his foster parents with whom he has lived for many months. He seemed happy yet sad that he had not heard from his mother for so long. Our pastor spoke with his foster father while we chatted with Matthew Paul. He told us he still reads your letters to us and is glad Chihaysu is free. He also recognizes the similarity between his name and Mattpaul's name. He is proud to have a similar name because he feels Mattpaul was a special person. Matthew Paul states that he loves to play soccer, which is our form of kickuml. He also states that he loves to sing in the children's choir at our church. While we were talking a member of our youth group sketched Matthew Paul and we are sending it to you. Let us know if you receive it.
I know you all must be wondering about Alex. First there are about ten days left until the opportunity to return to earth will come. He has been away in Romas for six days with the primary task of speaking with Princess Jezzie about his decision to return. We expect him tomorrow and once I get to speak to him I will send a new letter with an update. Huchfee
Alex returned a day early late yesterday afternoon. He advised that he first met with Sav-ed and then the two met with Princess Jezzie. Princess Jezzie then shocked them both by stating that she wants to go to earth with Alex. She wanted to know if she could.
Alex then explained the out of balance rule between the parallel universes. He was able to come to Caperston and return because of the actions of Noka many years earlier. For Princess Jezzie to come to earth, there must have been someone from earth who crossed over in the past.
The princess carefully listened and then advised Alex. God let me come with you a hundred days ago. I could have crossed over then. Maybe we should investigate.
Jezzie was determined. She brought Alex to a man named Roosevelt, the official historian of Romas. In our world Caperston has the official scientist and Romas has the historian. She asked Roosevelt if any stranger had appeared in Romas.
Roosevelt had been the historian of Romas for two generations and was three and a half generations old. He was one of the oldest people living in Romas. He replied that, when he was very young, a young woman, Amy, appeared.
Roosevelt checked through the records and discovered a story about a young woman who "fell out of the sky" in the desert between Romas and the mountains to the west. The report stated that she was in a flying machine which landed in the sand and sunk three quarters the way into it. Amy was able to get out of the machine and saw the buildings of Romas. She began walking that direction but after several steps she collapsed.
Fortunately. three young men had been on a hike from Romas to the mountains that day. They saw something descending from the sky and began walking towards it. When they arrived, they found Amy about one hundred meters from the machine, picked her up and asked how she felt. She appeared weak and was grateful for their assistance as they offered her some water to drink. As they assisted her they asked where did she come from and she advised that she was flying from a place called "the states". She was trying to go around the world when suddenly a light came from behind her. It was so bright that, even though it was a sunny day, she could see it in a mirror next to where she was seated. The next thing she remembered was climbing out of her flying machine.
"Where am I?" she asked.
"Romas" was the reply.
Amy looked perplexed. "I never heard of Romas. Is it in the Pacific?"
One of the young men replied, "We have never heard of the Pacific".
Amy was becoming weaker so the men decided to take her to Romas. She was able to walk with a little assistance and stated that she was very thirsty. The men took turns sharing the beverages they had brought along for their hike. As Amy drank and slowly walked her strength returned. Upon arriving at the city, Amy was escorted to the King of Romas. ( In Caperston we have a "ruler" but in Romas there is a "king".)
The King was very interested in Amy and provided a comfortable room in his residence for her that night. That night Romas experienced a strong wind storm, something that infrequently occurs. The next morning a restful and strengthened Amy wanted to go back to the desert to find her flying machine. Two of the three young men that found her the day before went with her. However, the wind storm had been strong. No footprints could be seen to be followed and, despite a day of searching, there was no sighting of her flying machine.
The report ended there. Roosevelt researched throughout the Romas Library but was unsuccessful in identifying anything more except for the date of this event and the a record of an Ameling who passed away in Romas a generation ago. He noted that the date of the event was a little more than three generations ago, when he would have been quite young. He was sure that Amy or Ameling was the person he recalled.
In Romas there is no "House of the Dead". When people die, they are usually buried in the back of the home in which they lived. Relatives prepare the graves and flowers are left at the gravesite once a year on Family Remembrance Day.
If there is no family, then the person is picked up by the police of the city, who dig out a grave and bury the individual. On Family Remberence Day volunteers pick up flowers and leave them at the gravesites of those without families. Romas does purchase a stone with the person's name, generation of birth and generation of death.
Jezzie decided that she was going to inspect the public burying places. Alex agreed to accompany her. After spending most of the next morning, they found a stone listing a woman, Ameling, who passed away during the 46th generation, Segment nine, month of Maris. In place of a date of birth was the inscription, "From the sky".
Princess Jezzie asked Alex if any of this information made sense and he replied, "Some of it. There is an ocean named Pacific and the term "the states" may refer to the United States from which he came. If Ameling came from "the states" then there could be an opportunity for a woman from Caperston/Romas to travel to earth to restore the cosmic balance. There are a lot of "ifs" but maybe this is why you travelled with me to the door that we decided not to open and..."
Jezzie continued, "...maybe it will happen again." Then, without hesitation, she stated, "I'll take it."
You will not be a princess anymore ," Alex reminded her.
I do not want to be a princess any longer".
Alex left her in Romas to think about and pray about her decision. They will next see each other in a dream at the fork in the road in about ten days. Please be ready, people of earth.
May Letters: One Door Opens and Another Door is Closed
May 2nd... They are Gone
Dear Friends from Earth: we counted the 105 days and calculated that they were up nine days ago but we were off by a day. We had planned a quiet goodbye with the mountain and valley youth and Sav-ed present. The night before we all went to sleep. Alex was staying at Chihaysu's home. When Chihaysu awoke the next morning Alex was gone.
Chihaysu walked down to his favorite mediation spot on Lake Gael but there was no sign of Alex. He then came into town and asked me if I knew anything. I stated that I did not.
Chihaysu then asked Jonas if he could go to Romas to see if Alex was there. If not he was to inquire if Princess Jezzie had heard from him. Next to Alex Jonas is the fastest person in Caperston travelling across the desert and then the mountains to Romas.
Jonas left shortly afterward and returned in six days, a very fast time for the round trip. Not only had no one seen Alex in Romas, he was unable to speak with Princess Jezzie as she, herself, had disappeared sometime during the night Alex disappeared.
We trust that they are together and that the destination is with you on earth. We look forward to hearing if our hopes are correct. Hopefully they have not disappeared from both of our worlds.
May 4th ... They are Safe
Dear Huchfee and all our wonderful friends in Caperston,
Praise God ... Alex and Jezzie are here. They arrived early in the morning of April 23rd. They confronted a different fork in the road that puzzled them at first. The path that seemed to be well trodden was the slimmest and straight path. The wider path seemed less used. Jezzie (she has advised us never to call her princess) shared with Alex that maybe it appeared more used because few people even get to this fork in the road. Maybe the last people here were themselves who travelled down the fork and back and this event cause the narrow path to be more used.
Alex agreed and down the path they went. This time, when they reached the door that was the portal to the universe of earth they did not even look through the window. There were no doubts this time and through the door they came.
Alex said that he and Jezzie never took that mountain hike he had promised her and so down the trail on Bear Mountain they went. Upon the trail's exit they reached a small visitor's center into which they entered. As Jezzie was thanking Alex for taking her on the hike I heard Alex respond "You're welcome". I turned around and could not believe it.
Our youth group was planning on going further away on a day's hike and one of the members suggested we change our plans and hike Bear Mountain. We had just arrived as Alex and Jezzie entered. We all remembered Alex and we found Jezzie to be no different than the rest of us. After chatting for a half hour we asked Alex and Jezzie if they wanted to join us, We knew Alex would say "yes" and to our surprise Jezzie said, "Me too".
I called Alex's parents and put Alex on the phone. They were overjoyed to hear from him and I agreed that I (just got my driver's license) would drop them both off at his home.
Now here is the best part of the story. After spending two days solely with his parents, I visited Alex and Jezzie. Jezzie was very interested in the fortunes of both Toby and Matthew Paul. I advised them that it would be best to discuss this with our pastor. Church was the next day and Jezzie, in particular, was very excited about attending the service. She had never been in a church as there are none in Romas or Caperston. After the service we all met with Pastor. Present were Alex, Jezzie, myself, Toby's parents and Alex' parents.
Pastor explained that Toby is doing better but still requires many months of rehab. The medical plan his parents have will pay for 90 days of service and that is more than half used up. Without some type of miracle recovery or some way of obtaining funds so that they can pay for the medical services, Toby will come home with minimal medical services. His mother wept, "He has come so far ... I hate to see him lose this wonderful treatment".
Toby's parents then left and our pastor then updated us on Matthew Paul. Matthew Paul and his mother Julia have begun reunification telephone calls and had their first visit over the weekend. Matthew Paul is happy with his foster parents but really wishes to live with his mother. That is a natural feeling for any child. He was not an abused child and his mother did her best, though she made some bad and foolish choices.
Pastor talked with Matthew Paul's social worker, a young man named Scott, who stated that his agency is working towards Matthew Paul's return but his mother has to find safe housing. They need their own living space as Matthew Paul will be twelve years old very soon. That means a two bedroom apartment and these are very expensive here on Long Island where we all live. We asked how much and pastor stated probably around $1500, a month and Julia makes a minimum wage salary.
Jezzie had many questions about the value of our money and we told her. She felt very sad for Matthew Paul and Toby. She responded to all of this, "When I was a princess I could get whatever I need. Not really for me but for Toby and Matthew Paul." She became upset and began playing with the ring on her finger.
Then Alex brightened up. "Jezzie ... your ring. Your uncle, the king of Romas, gave it to you. I know it is special to you. It is all you have left of being a princess."
Jezzie stopped spinning the ring on her finger. She replied, "Do you think it has value here on earth?" The pastor asked if could take a look and replied, "I think so".
Well the next day Jezzie and Alex visited three jewelers. The first two jewelers stated that the gold in the ring was 18 karats - very good but not fully pure. They both rated the rings worth about $2,000. A nice amount but hardly enough to help Toby and Matthew Paul.
Then they tried the last dealer. He took a look at the ring and did not even rate the gold. Rather he asked about the stone. "What do you call this stone in the middle of the ring?"
Jezzie replied "We just call it stone. From where I come from, there are many, many stones like this one. I just happened to like this color, blue-green."
"Really", the jeweler said. "We could make a lot of money harvesting more of these stones. This is the only turquoise diamond I have ever seen and it is quite large, close to 40 carats I would estimate. I think you have a very valuable stone". A few phone calls later found an auctioneer, who offered $50,000. for the ring. That would be enough to pay for several months of care for Toby and get Julia and Matthew Paul a home.
Alex' parents are negotiating with the auctioneer as Jezzie is more than willing to sell the ring to help out Toby and Matthew Paul. And ... there should be a little left over for herself.
It is a beautiful thing our wonderful princess is doing for others. We are blessed.
Three Questions Answered: Dustin, Jesus, Future
May 27th... The Last Vision: the Door Closes
Dear Alex, Laura, Darren and Tim,
I write to you with excitement, hope and sadness. Hope because of the changes happening each day in Caperston, excitement because Chihaysu has returned and shared with us his vision and sadness because this will be my last letter to you.
Let me update you. You know of the committee of leaders Pontos put in place. Pontos has kept his word. We are not just representatives - we are real decision makers. One decision we made is to create one school for all people in Caperston. In the past there was a school for the mountain youth and a school for the valley youth. Hence the kickuml game between the mountain and valley youth which was the subject of Mattpaul's first letter to you. Now we are all one, all considered equals and I, myself, love it as I never considered myself as anything but equal to my mountain friends. We also made a decision regarding Zester. It was the result of Erbert insisting that forgiveness is best for not only Zester but for each of us. When we told Chihaysu, he agreed. So we will forgive him and hope that our forgiveness will soften his angry, frustrated heart.
I also want to share that Rachaeling and I have been spending time together. We like to take walks and talk. One of our recent walks was to Mattpaul's grave. We both cried a little when we got there but then realized that Mattpaul's spirit lives on with the spirit of Dustin and your Kevin. And they are all playing a great kickuml game in heaven. Here is why we know.When Chihaysu returned, he advised that he had spent seven days in the desert praying. He enjoyed a brief visit from Jonas but most of the time, he was alone. He felt close to God but had questions that he wanted answered. He said he observed a beautiful sunset on the last night he was there and felt a peace come over him.
That night he dreamed. He dreamed that he met Mattpaul and he posed three questions to Mattpaul. He said the dream was so vivid he remembered, he believes, every word spoken during the dream.
His first question was: is Dustin in heaven? Mattpaul answered, "Yes" then stated that Dustin is the best kickuml player on the team. Dustin and Kevin have become great friends and they particularly like to plan strategies and new plays for upcoming games. Mattpaul continued, "Remember we do not keep score when we play in heaven but that does not mean we do not want to play well."
Chihaysu's second question was: is Jesus, God's son, coming to Caperston just like he came to Earth many generations ago? Mattpaul's answer was clear. It was no. When God sent his son to Earth so that people could be forgiven, it was not just for people of earth. It was for people living in Caperston or for people living on any planet in any universe. This is why God arranged for the communication between those of us in Caperston and you on Earth. When Chihaysu responded to the code in the Chest of Visions and began reading the words of the man from Earth named Matthew, God knew he needed to explain His plan for all of creation. So he allowed us to communicate by giving Mattpaul the proper codes to connect with Tim and his Christian youth website. We thought it was a lucky coincidence but it wasn't. It was God's plan.
And that plan included one death of His son for all creation.
The last question Chihaysu asked was about the future of Caperston. What can we expect? Mattpaul stated that God has declared that the communication between Earth and Caperston is to cease. Mattpaul stated that God declared, "I have opened this door of communication between the people of Caperston and my followers on Earth. You have shared with each other and enriched each other. Now you must go your separate ways, though you will meet again in heaven just as Dustin, Kevin and Mattpaul have met. With the help of my Spirit all, who believe, on Earth and on Caperston will continue to grow in their faith through prayer, making a difference in their worlds. I will leave the communication open for one letter from Caperston to Earth and one letter in return from Earth. Then, at an unknown time in the future but after all living on Caperston have passed on, I will bring this correspondence to the knowledge of your descendants and open the door of communication one final time."
So this is my last letter. We, in Caperston, have been blessed by your letters and your friendship. We will never forget you - all of us will remember, Michaeling, Rachaeling, Dawnling, Marcus, Sav-ed,Timus, Chihaysu and myself. We bid you our best wishes and have confidence that we will meet again - in a different place as Dustin, Kevin and Mattpaul have met.
I am sending one last drawing by Jonas - a drawing of Chihaysu's dream.
God has allowed one response from you and we look forward to it. Please tell us the status of Matthew Paul. And thank you for the drawing. We all think he looks a little like Mattpaul. Also Chihaysu said we should ask Tim something he has learned about "uncertainty". I do not know what that means but we look forward to your response.
Our love is with you, our friends from earth, always.
The Last Letter: June 9th
Dear Huchfee, Rachaeling, Michaeling, Dawnling, Marcus,Timus and Chihaysu,
I have corresponded with Alex, Laura and Darren and they have agreed to let me write the last response. All three wish to say their youth group considers all of you to be part of their group. They will continue to pray for you though the correspondence is over. Darren states that he has read your story over several times and each time his faith is inspired by your perseverance in your own faith. You are on the top of his prayer list.
We, on earth, are excited for the wonderful changes which have come to your world. These changes occurred because you put your faith into action. It is something we on Earth have learned from you. We are excited that Chihaysu is free and available to continue to inspire each of you. We are glad that Sav-ed is safe and wonder about the impact of his trips to Romas but, since this is our last correspondence, we will never know. We understand that there will be one last contact years from now and I will make sure that all of our corresponding letters are documented for those in the future to read and review. Will it be our great grandchildren or even descendants further in the future to hear again from your descendants? We do not know.
You asked about Matthew-Paul and we have exciting news. His mother, Julia, was found. She was with a cousin living a distance away. Things had become very difficult for her and she called her cousin who picked her up, took her home with her and made arrangements for her to get treatment. The treatment required a placement in a facility. Julia never forgot Matthew-Paul but did not want him to know about her placement.
It took a long time for her treatment to help her overcome her troubles but she did. She was released about twenty days ago and returned to her cousin who states she appears to be herself again. She had her first conversation with Matthew-Paul last Sunday afternoon and we understand, after a few more phone conversations, a visit is planned. They have a long way to go but a wonderful re-connection has taken place.
You ask about Alex and Jezzie. First of all, Jezzie states that she is happy being an ordinary teenager. She says the "princess" role was nice but there is much too much protocol and she wants to just be herself, not a princess.
Alex spent a lot of time with Toby, who has really progressed in his recovery since Alex arrived. It is hoped that Toby will be discharged soon as he wants to go to, what we call summer school. This will allow him to graduate and start what we call college with Alex. There is a school called a community college where both Toby and Alex can attend and in about a half a year can hopefully play basketball together. It is located in our town and both boys will attend while living at home.
Here is an interesting outcome. Jezzie, no longer acting like a princess has taken a liking to Toby which is all right with Alex. Alex told me he realizes that Laura was not just a "special friend" ... he says she is "special"
You ask me about "uncertainty". I guess Mattpaul is referring to a discussion we had at a recent church meeting, when we faced the question, "Why do bad things happen to good people?" We read an emotional statement from a young boy with a deadly disease we call cancer. He is in such pain but he does not blame God for his misfortune. Rather he states that he was unfortunate to get the disease but fortunate that God is there to help him fight it.
Then we looked at what science has to say. There is a theory called quantum mechanics which states at the level of the most basic of sub atomic entities, something called quarks, that the rules of the "quarks world" are very different than ours. It would take many pages to explain this but, in essence, the theory is this: our world, at its most basic principles, is filled with uncertainty. For instance, these quarks can be in two places at the same time and no one really knows where they are or the speed at which they move from place to place.
Why would God create a world with uncertainty? I believe the answer is simple: He wants to give choice to His creation. We can chose to reach out to Him or reject Him. If there was no uncertainty, there would not be choice. And if there is no choice, there really isn't a relationship and relationship is what God seeks from us.
I hope this makes some sense and is helpful.
So we say goodbye with our words but not with our hearts. We, on Earth, are better people for knowing all of you on Caperston and we love you all - very much. God be with us all as we follow His calling.
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