Although the Dad Devotionals Podcast is on summer break, the work of Christ never stops. I had a chance to ask Rev. Troy Vaughn a few questions about an upcoming event next week along with his journey to Christ. His LA Mission is hosting a free performance by the Grammy-Award-winning gospel group Maverick City Music. The group will be performing on the prior evening to a sold-out audience at the Crypto.com Arena.
Interview with Rev. Troy Vaughn
Rev. Troy, tell us about your background and your journey to Christ.
I was introduced to Christ by my grandmother as a young boy. And so I’ve always grew up in church, so I have a religious background, but really never accepted the Lord as my personal Savior. Until many, many years until I went through a process of addiction – and living life and death came to know that for myself.
But I was, you know, brought up in the church and filled with the Spirit and but when I came into contact with the Lord, it was to my advantage being homeless, and really been able to call on God for myself in my personal life. And when I did that, my life was transformed. So, I went from obscurity to being able to do this great and amazing work that I get to do every day in my life. So I’m grateful for the transformation and experience.
When was the LA Mission founded? And what was the founders’ initial goal and what is it today?
The mission is over 85 years old, so I’m just blessed to be a part of building on the foundation had been laid by the predecessors before me. But our goal remains the same should be a transformative agent in the community. I think my my task in this season of the mission is to bring us to the forefront of the work that we’ve always done in the background. But allowing ourselves to also come outside of the confines of a geographical location and being a part of a larger tapestry of ministry. That’s happening in our communities and bringing a bridge builder to those efforts, and a thought leader and partner in the age of transformation for those that are marginalized in our community and disenfranchised. So that’s why I’m here today to continue to build upon that and hopefully leave a legacy that someone else can come build on after my season.
How did the partnership with Maverick City start and how did this event develop?
That partnership started through vision. We envision ourselves doing, you know, an outreach benefit concert, and it was from there. It evolved to what we see today, which is, you know, not just a concert, but it’s more of a festival that is happening in the hardest Skid Row to allow us to really begin to bring about real meaningful change to the members of our community. And so we’re really excited about that. Being able to do that, and the way that we’re beginning to do it, so I’m excited that we were able to reach out funny story is that I was I went to a concert of theirs two years ago and asked him to come down to Skid Row. And to get this this event and two years later, here we are. And I think it was by God’s providence that it happened this way. Because I don’t think none of us knew that it was being connected in that way. I release it and faith of him God took that seed of faith and grew it into what we have today.
“We understand that we don’t wrestle against flesh and blood but against principalities. And powers that rule this present age that are part of the darkness. So our job is to be agents of light and to move forward in that light of love. And to allow that transformative power of the Spirit to take place.” – Rev. Troy Vaughn
How will the event bring the light of Christ to those in the area facing homelessness?
I think that by being visible, and unapologetic about our faith in the space, but understanding that the warfare that we have now is really a warfare that is happening behind the scenes for those that are believers. We understand that we don’t wrestle against flesh and blood but against principalities. And powers that rule this present age that are part of the darkness. So our job is to be agents of light and to move forward in that light of love. And to allow that transformative power of the Spirit to take place. And so we’ve got to be very intentional about doing that and partnering with other members of our community that align with that, to see that you know, the greater humanity and all of us can come to the surface and be either trained change agents that I believe our Creator minutes to be, to take the man over our areas of responsibility to be responsible for each other brother’s keeper. And I’m grateful for the opportunity to start this process here on Skid Row.
Can you share a story or two of people who have benefited from the LA mission?
I’ve benefited I can start with my own story. But I you know, I have many, many stories. When I was a resident of Skid Row, sleeping on the street homeless, taking advantage of the services that the mission provided, and the love and the generosity that emoted from the place. I’m grateful. And then I often look at you know, recently we lost one of our cooks, David Thompson, who became a head chef here at the Los Angeles Mission. He recently passed away during COVID But he was one of our residents and he grew from a residence to a place of promise within the mission holding a key role and that’s the work that we do our current chef, Eric Grant is another example of the transformative work that we do came through the program. It’s not working on staff and really, that’s what we exemplifying hiring the people that live experienced those that we invest in. We have so much faith in that product, that we hired them ourselves to run key components of our organization.
Where can we go to learn more and help support this and future efforts?
All efforts can be found on our website at the LosAngelesMission.org. That’s the best way to stay in contact with us. You can follow us on Twitter and all our social media platforms, but the best way to be involved in a gift to the organization is go to our website at the LosAngelesMission.org.
Can you share the vision behind Music Matters summer day of service?
Yeah, this is about using music as a backdrop to maintain universal strategic investments and community. In fact, that’s what music stands for, and music matters, and really is to get us to focus that we can launch something, but the most important thing is for us to maintain the thing that we’ve put in place and to be strategic about it. And universally we need to be engaged meaning that all members of the community need to have a role and in the transformative work that we do. No one should be left out that the business community the people that are impacted the advocates, the government partners, police department, fire department, community-based organizations, our healthcare partners, all of us that are members of the community need to be a part of the solution. And when we do that, I think that we can get to the end result which is bringing about the change that we see.
How important is it for people to unite and help each other with so much division that there is in the world?
I mean, it’s the paramount thing to do. Right? Like it’s the importance of it is unparalleled. I think that we don’t realize how interdependent we are as human beings and that if there’s something happening down the street to neighbors that eventually that can impact us. We should have learned a lesson with COVID because, you know homelessness, poverty, food insecurity and the like, health care, reform, all these different things that are happening in our community are eventually impacting all of us. And so, even though we may feel as though we’re estranged from the process, because it’s not in our backyard, when it begins to emerge doesn’t mean that it won’t eventually get to us. And for me, COVID has taught us that lesson that something can start in a different remote, obscure place. But if we don’t address it, when it starts there, as being a part of the human race, it’s only a matter of time before we’re dealing with it in our own backyards.
What is your hope for this year’s event?
My hope is that we plan to see the possibility of transformation, and that it would ignite a flame in the hearts of every person that comes in contact with this event—that they will know that there is an opportunity to be a part of that they can lend their gifts, their talents, their resources to bet can be a part of meaningful change that we can control in our communities. And my hope and desires that best see this planet and that it ignites a flame of hope in the heart of every person that participates.