A Home away From Home

Forest Home was one of the many places I was introduced to when we were invited to Hollywood Presbyterian by Mr. Young. My first experience at Forest Home was through one of their kids camps called Indian Village. For several years I would go to “camp” and would eventually work a few summers after graduating high school. I think I counted 12 consecutive years that I attended FH as a camper or through one of their many programs for youth. One camp I still remember was “Youth Corps.” Hell week for high school boys basically in a Christian camp setting. FH was my home away from home. When you don’t have much as a kid and the parental units are mentally unaware of their kids, a place like FH is heaven. I remember one time coming back from Indian Village and telling my dad, “Dad, the bus almost got lost and went to Bakersfield.” How I wished it did at the time but after a while the Lord worked on my heart and it was in 1983 at a Jr. High Winter camp that I gave my life to the Lord through one of Dave Hopkins messages. Dave was this way cool loving staff person at FH who ran the Jr. High ministry at the time. What I remember most about that year was one of the many songs Dave had put to music. Dave had this gift of taking the memory verses the jr. high kids had to memorize during summer camps and turned them into songs kids could sing and remember. The verse I memorized that summer and sung at winter camp that year I accepted Christ was from Jeremiah 29:11, “For I know the plans I have for you declares the Lord, plans to prosper you and not to harm you plans to give you hope and a future.” What a word to hear that God had a plan for this little kid from Hollywood. That God in the midst of my “stuff” at home was always with me and watched over me. I have to honestly say that FH was that place of solitude for me as a kid. It was home! I still sing that song today. More to come!

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2 thoughts on “A Home away From Home

  1. Hi K.C., I found your website while I was searching on line for some of the songs that Dave Hopkins wrote. I enjoyed reading your “A Home Away From Home” article because I too “grew up” at Forest Home. I gave my life to Jesus at Indian Village…I too attended many years…though not so much in high school do to sports…but I also volunteered as a leader a couple of summers. But Dave had this amazing gift you mentioned – putting scripture to song. I can still remember them!

    PS, I too am a pastor, father, lover of food and caffeinated beverages as well as my guitar.

  2. Me, too, Kevin and KC! Indian Village, The Ranch, Lakeview, Second Wind (corollary to Youth Corp/Blue Helmets), and Main Camp Waitress Summer 1985. Dave Hopkins’ music was influential in my youth and beyond. “Sing to the Lord with Thanksgiving” is a favorite to this day.

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