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Hospitality Highlight: Taylor Amundson

Posted by Dan Jarms & Jessica Horning on March 13, 2024
Hospitality Highlight: Taylor Amundson

In this episode we hear from Taylor Amundson about how she and her family use hospitality as a way to reach out to the nations right here in Spokane. 

Featured recipe: Taylor's Coconut Chicken Tandoori with Oven Baked Rice and Naan

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  • Automated Transcription
  • Dan Jarms 0:00
    Today on faith matters, we're going to have Jessica Horning interviewing Taylor Edmondson about hospitality.

    Dan Jarms 0:12
    I'm Dan Jarms. And you're listening to faith matters a podcast to help update you on matters of faith Bible Church, as well as equip you in matters of the Christian faith.

    Dan Jarms 0:32
    Living Faith Magazine comes out quarterly. One of the things we want to do is highlight hospitality in different ways people of faith Bible Church are using their lives, their homes, their resources, to serve others through hospitality. And in this episode, we're going to be hearing an interview with Jessica Horning interviewing Taylor Amundson, and it goes along with the article that's in this quarters within fit magazine.

    Jessica Horning 1:01
    My name is Jessica Horning. I've been going to faith for eight years, and I am heading up the hospitality highlight in the Living Faith Magazine. Today, I have Taylor Amundson with us. She's a mom of three boys under four years old. Her and her husband, Josiah, are originally from Colorado, and are currently in the process of preparing to work overseas as global partners in Southeast Asia. We're going to be having a conversation today about hospitality, and what discipleship looks like in her home these days. My goal is to recognize the call that we have as Christians to be hospitable and make disciples, let's get a glimpse of what that looks like in so many different people's lives, young or old men or women, people with many children or people that might be single. So today, we get to get that glimpse in the perspective of Taylor. So let's get into it. Taylor, thanks so much for opening your home for us today.

    Taylor Amundson 1:56
    Thank you for having me.

    Jessica Horning 1:58
    So let's talk about this dish. What did you make for us today?

    Taylor Amundson 2:01
    I have coconut tandoori chicken.

    Jessica Horning 2:04
    Awesome. That sounds so yummy. And it smells so good. The aroma of your home is just divine. So how long have you been making it for your family? What ways have you found it to be versatile for different people young and old and cross culturally,

    Taylor Amundson 2:18
    I have been making this probably for the last nine or 10 months since our third son was born, somebody actually brought us a similar meal. And we loved it so much that I decided to start making it and the kids have loved it, which is always a huge win. And that directs a lot of our eating around here. So we've been able to share it with a lot of different people in our house. And specifically, we have a few friends who are from the friendship dinner that FPC hosts once a month. And a lot of their like Middle Eastern meals, they are just similar with rice chicken, like they are easy for a while. And so this was just an easy option for me. And yeah, we've been able to make it for a few people. And they've even been giving me tips on how to make my rice better and things like that. So I'm really thankful.

    Jessica Horning 3:16
    That's amazing. So for those of us that don't know much about halal and what that entails, how do you cater to people that are halal? Like what's, what's the protocol for that? And what are the things that you look out for?

    Taylor Amundson 3:29
    I would not say I'm the Pro on that. But I know the don't eat pork. And it's a certain way that the blood is drained from the meat in the Islamic community.

    Jessica Horning 3:43
    And so where do you find that in Spokane? How do you find meat that is halal friendly.

    Taylor Amundson 3:49
    I know that there are certain delis you can go to I don't I just choose instead to cook a lot with chicken. Sometimes I'll just do like vegetarian which is also really easy. With three little kids, we try and get our meat in around here. So chicken is just kind of the easy option. Also, we do a lot of Turkey.

    Jessica Horning 4:08
    The chicken tandoori dish is really really delicious. And I feel like I was intimidated by the fact that the ingredients had some things I didn't recognize before so like, tell me about the girl masala. Like how do you pronounce that? And where do you find it?

    Taylor Amundson 4:23
    I don't think I'm the expert. Garam I just say garam masala. So I had to special order it. I could not find it. And I'm sure that it is at some tiny market that is obscure that someone probably knows about at the church, you should tell me but I ended up having luck going to Inland Empire spice which is on Monroe, and really close to the church. Right? Yeah, it can be intimidating with new ingredients. And like I said This meal was made for us and so it made it less intimidating for me thinking okay, someone's already done this. They've gone before me and I can figure it out and go Well as my best friend with cooking, I have just learned so much from Googling, what does this mean? How do I cook with it. And that has gotten me a long way. So

    Jessica Horning 5:10
    that's so cool. So talk to me about how you what it looks like to prepare the dish, like the different elements and how you go about preparing each element. So

    Taylor Amundson 5:18
    the rice, I used to make a smaller amount, but now we have like 100 people per meal, it feels like with our three boys, they love their rice. And so that's easy. So I just make that in my like nine by 13 baking dish in the oven in the oven. Yeah, whoa. And that is just the way that it has worked well, for me, I got that from Claire rush. So thank you, Claire. And

    Jessica Horning 5:43
    that's such an easy way I feel like I'm struggling on the stovetop. And that's such a new writing step for me,

    Taylor Amundson 5:49
    especially with if you don't have a ton of space. And yeah, it just is it gets one more thing out of my way. And I kind of out of sight out of mind with the rice. That is probably the easiest thing, in my opinion for the entire dish. The non is I think it's also pretty easy. You totally can just love people by giving store button on I think it's delicious, just as much but slightly less than homemade not which was also a clear rush meal that I was able to eat. And then I thought I have got to make this I have to try for my family. And I was not at all familiar with cooking with yeasts or anything like that. I was very intimidated. I think I just realized you can't really mess it up unless you kill the yeast. But you can just start it in the morning and let it rise for a few hours. So usually I just knock him out during nap time, which is a lot of how our meals get done around here is around the kids his

    Jessica Horning 6:45
    schedule, and then the actual chicken tandoori you did that in the Instant Pot or this crock pot.

    Taylor Amundson 6:52
    I did do it in the Instant Pot. But I actually use the slow cooker function. So if you have a crock pot, that's what it is intended for. I think the longer that you cook it, the yummier it is because it just absorbs the spices more and you can even shred it like halfway through. So it just absorbs more. But again, it's very easy to it's literally just dump a can of that coconut milk and then mix your spices, put it in a bowl and smother the chicken breast with it or your chicken thighs. And it's it's done. You don't really have to think about it until you serve the meal. So those are my kind of meals around here.

    Jessica Horning 7:25
    I am so inspired because I really don't make any meals like this. And I definitely want to try this in my own kitchen and the Nan was so fluffy and so, so yummy. The actual chicken tandoori dish wasn't spicy. It was full of spices but it wasn't spicy like hot. And I really appreciate that. Because I think sometimes I'm, I'm thrown off by hot things. But this was so full of flavor. So, so yummy. So thank you for making this and sharing it with the congregation.

    Jessica Horning 7:58
    I just wanted to kind of get more context about hospitality in your marriage. So when you and Josiah got married, what was it like for you back in the day? And how has has everything grown and transformed in your hosting abilities since then?

    Taylor Amundson 8:14
    That is a great question. So we started out in a very small studio. I don't remember how big but it was not. It was not huge. We had a tiny nook with a table, which is more than we technically have now. We had a table that would fold in half. And I remember trying to host people and my aunt and uncle were very gracious to come over and squeeze into our tiny knock in our kitchen. Yeah, we were very young. When we got married, I was 19. Josiah was 20. So we definitely had so much to learn. And growing up my mom, she hosted a lot, not just having people over for meals and things like that. But also, she was really big on like inviting people into our home to stay when they were in need. And so I remember that was just a very normal thing for me growing up was having not necessarily strangers, but just people from the church who are in need. Seeing single moms or yeah, whatever the situation lots of people were, they were just walking in our home like part of the family to come eat with us to stay with us until they could just kind of get on their feet. And so I'm really thankful for the example that my mom set for me in that way. So then when we got married, it just felt natural to continue that we would have people also stay with us in our tiny little studio. So that was fun to look. We just laugh looking back at the ways that the Lord has provided. And we like to joke now even our seating situation is like Jesus feeding the 5000 because we never actually have owned in our current house, a kitchen table. And then we just invite a lot of people over and somehow the Lord always provides enough seats and high chairs and booster seats and Yeah, so anyway, it's a good laugh.

    Jessica Horning 10:01
    But that is amazing. Yeah, you really, I think that something that I have always been encouraged by is how, no matter the state, you're just welcoming people in whether you have enough chairs to accommodate, or whether you haven't, we should not. But no, I think it's wonderful. I think that's, that's really what the goal of hospitality is, is just to make people feel welcome. And to invite people in, even if it's not in your home, I think hospitality we need to also shape our thinking of hospitality, not just in the dining room, but also whether you're at a park or in a grocery store, or at church, or wherever you might be, the attitude of our hearts can be hospitable. And so in the home, thinking about that, you are like, Hey, I have four chairs and a couch, and

    Taylor Amundson 10:48
    and the Lord will provide and the Lord will provide, and he always, always, always does.

    Jessica Horning 10:52
    Yes, that is so encouraging. And it's also really encouraging to just remember the upbringing that you came from and how your mom modeled and open home to people very often you have people in your home staying it feels like every other week, you have someone staying with you. So tell me about that. Is it mostly family? Or what? What types of opportunities have you had in the time that you've lived in Spokane? Yeah,

    Taylor Amundson 11:15
    we definitely have family visit a lot. With Josiah his old job, it pulled us here to Spokane, and so much of our family is still in Denver. And so it's always very sweet to get to host them and just have them be able to spend time with our three boys. We're not sure how much longer we will be here in Spokane. And so we're just trying to soak up every moment when people are able to visit. But our hospitality, yeah, sometimes it is having people for dinner. In our current state right now, we are serving on youth staff. And that is really exciting. Because we get to have a whole different demographic, I guess, in our house, which are high schoolers, and they different. Sometimes similar, though, to my three year old, where give them something sweet, and they will keep coming back. And we love that that's really sweet. Just to share in time with them, with board games, or just sometimes it's bags of chips, and Glock, and that does it, that's great. But we love having them in our home, we just feel really thankful that the Lord has given us a home, to be able to host and to fit people. Even if it is not in the traditional way of

    Jessica Horning 12:31
    a bigger home. No, that's, that's perfect. And I think that your role in youth ministry, not only just staying within the confines of a program, or a Wednesday night event, but to bring the youth into your home and to let them see how you live life is so important. I remember when I was in youth ministry and I had just recently gotten saved. And the the first real view of what the Christian family looked like was because people were inviting me in helping me see their marriage and how they do dinner and how they raise their kids. And that was such an influence to me that I had never seen before. And I think that the more that we just have our open hands, for whoever to come in, we don't know what it could do in someone's life, whether it just be bringing them light and joy for that day, or to really share the gospel with them, or whatever it might be. So what encouragement would you give to people who are wanting to be hospitable to refugees, or people groups where they may be dealing with cultural differences or language barriers,

    Taylor Amundson 13:35
    it's actually amazing since being a part of the friendship dinners, FBC it's just been such an open door for us. And I'm not gonna lie, I'm like, I'm a little bit nervous talking to people who they are dressed differently, and they look differently. And they, they eat different food. And it's totally a different culture. But the Lord has just really opened the door there for us to be able to bring our kids and share a meal with them. So the friendship dinners often, everybody who's going we'll just bring whatever, whatever they want. And so it's usually not American food, which is a good way for us to practice loving our neighbor and just having thankful hearts for whatever is there. It's not as scary as you think. I think really just starting with saying hi to someone and even if they have different language that they speak, saying hi. just smiling, like those things go a very long way. And it might not seem like that's hospitality, but just being warm and inviting. What kind of things can you do to make yourself approachable in Philippians, two, two Sinai referenced that a lot in our own home. Jesus humbled Himself and came down to us humans and what a picture of humility and so what I won't say it's easy, it deftly only takes practice. But some simple ways are, when there is somebody, like there have been several friends that we've made through the friendship dinners, just invite them into your home. And the worst that they could say is no, or the worst that can happen is they don't speak your language. And so maybe it's a little bit of an awkward interaction. But usually, there's somebody to translate. We've been able to have, many of those people come into our home. And really what's amazing is when you talk to them, I think we just assume maybe because they're at the friendship dinner, or because they're here in America, we just make assumptions, either that they don't want to come because they're too different, or that it would be too awkward. But a lot of them have never been into an American home, and not just American, but into a Christian home. And like you were saying, what a way to show them the love of Christ in the food that we can cook for them. And the conversations that we can have the questions that we can ask, and I think it's just being thoughtful of how we can love other people the best. So there really are a lot of opportunities. I know that there's even a talk time that goes on for international students at a church here in Spokane. And that is a great way to practice hospitality, going and helping people practice English. And in that you can share the gospel and invite them into your home. So it does take putting yourself out there a little bit. But the opportunities are definitely there. That

    Jessica Horning 16:24
    is so encouraging. And I know that I have heard of those events, and I myself have not been able to go, but it really encourages me to take that step and to enter into those opportunities, they're coming to us and we can bring the gospel to them, we might not have the opportunity to fly across the world and to be able to share with them. But for us to have them in our neighborhood to be able to be late to them is so so important. So we

    Taylor Amundson 16:51
    also I just wanted to add a really cool story about that with hosting people from the refugee community, we've made a really good friend through that. And his dad recently visited from the Middle East, and does not speak any English and his sister came with. And so they both when they were here in Spokane, his sister had met the kids at a friendship dinner maybe two or three years ago, and remembered them which I was shocked by and specifically asked our friend, if they could come over and she just wanted to see the kids. And so it was such a sweet time to spend with them to get to have them in our home. And none of them are Christians. But we got to just share a simple meal, I think we had sandwiches like it was nothing fancy. But just the fact that they desired time that really touched my heart that sometimes it's it's easy to feel like we don't make a huge impact. And it's not about us. It's about Christ in all of this. And that's definitely what we want to remember in all of hospitality. But we are also called to, to love our neighbor. And there are very tangible and practical ways with doing that so sweet that we got to share a meal with our friend's dad and his sister being loved by total strangers that he's never met before. And we got to experience ways and our kids got to experience. How do we interact with someone who doesn't speak our language. And we did this yet, just the kids make us laugh. And there's just a lot more in common. Like we're all humans, and we all have very similar needs to just be loved.

    Jessica Horning 18:24
    Yeah, and I think in this culture, it can definitely be a norm to young moms or even just moms that have multiple kids to be thinking, Okay, your hands are full. And you need to just be focusing on yourself or your home. And you don't have to stretch yourself too thin. I'm encouraged by how I see for you. You're using the resources that God has given you and the family size that God has given you. And you're able to bless others with that. So yeah, how has having your three boys actually furthered your hospitality.

    Taylor Amundson 18:58
    That has been such a transformative thing for us. To be honest, we did not practice a ton of hospitality. So starting when we were married, like I said, we we did get to host here and there but it wasn't a ton. And to be honest, it wasn't a huge priority for me, but it was really like you said being in people's homes here at faith when we moved here that I was able to see. Oh, it really is that simple. Okay, I can do that. That just seems like not as big of a step as I thought or in my head I had made made it a bigger thing. But so then we have the kids. Yeah, we have three little boys with lots of energy. So they're usually running around making lots of noise like kids do. But we I think it has started with me practicing hospitality to my own family has been really the start of it. And being super encouraged watching you do that with your own family. Since that has already been a normal thing for our family to be just sharing in meals every night. It hasn't felt too much of a stretch for For us to just then invite people in. And I think it's just been a lot of me learning how to stretch meals, add some rice, add some beans, just cheap things like that. It can feed a lot more people that way. I think just having the kids here, it kind of softens the tone, they just bring a smile to your face. And yes, my hands are full, but they are not too full, to invite people in. And I am so thankful I get the opportunity to stay home full time with my boys and I, I really strive to just have a home that is not always clean. That is definitely not. That's not a factor on here. It's not always clean, but it's always open. And so when my high schoolers get off of school at three o'clock, I say come over, and let's have a Bible study and I'll give you a cup of coffee, or if it's having people early for breakfast, who have other littles and they're up early. It's really sweet to see. I didn't expect that when I had kids. But I think like you said, even going to parks and grocery stores, people instantly soften. When they see me tickling my baby or my you know, just watching the boys interact. It's It's very sweet. So

    Jessica Horning 21:12
    just in closing, you and Josiah have some big plans for this year and the years to come as you transition into other cultures. And you're gonna have a lot of opportunities to live your Christian life openly with people of different cultures. So can you let us in on what that transition might look like and how we can pray for you and support you.

    Taylor Amundson 21:32
    We are hoping to go work in Southeast Asia to do some church planting and Bible translation work. We are not decided on a country exactly as of yet. But we are just slowly in the process of getting training. So Josiah is taking some classes here at seminary. And we are just continuing to practice like the day to day things. But we know that life is gonna look very different. We are headed down to a training in August that will take us away for 10 months. You can be praying for us I think as we are transitioning into that training program. And I will be in classes. That's a huge prayer request is just thought I would transition well. Going from being full time stay at home mom into classes for half of the day with Josiah while the kids are being watched, is definitely it tugs at my heartstrings. But I know that the Lord will give you the grace for it. And yeah, he gives us what's good for us. So we're really excited we get this opportunity. We're not sure exactly when we'll be launching yet. But more is to come. So change

    Jessica Horning 22:51
    after change transition after transition. Yeah, your willingness is just so encouraging. So anyway, I just wanted to thank you so much for sharing with us today. And thank you so much for your time. It's just so encouraging to hear about all the ways that you are just open and the faith Bible Church. I just want to encourage you to continually be frequent in your hospitality and fragrant in that the love of Christ would show evidently in how you live your lives openly before others. Alright Taylor, thank you so much.

    Taylor Amundson 23:22
    Thanks for having me, Jess.

Dan Jarms

Dr. Dan Jarms is teaching pastor and team leader at Faith Bible Church in Spokane Washington, as well as associate dean at TMS Spokane. He has been married for over 30 years to Linda, and has three adult children. He earned his B.A. in English at the Master’s College, B.Ed. at Eastern Washington University, M.Div and D.Min in Expository Preaching at The Master’s Seminary. His other interests include NCAA basketball, gardening, brick oven cooking.

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Jessica Horning

Living Faith hospitality editor Jessica Horning is a wife and mother of two boys. She owns a business teaching sourdough classes. Contact her at mrs.jessicahorning@gmail.com

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