10 Years of DASH

Written by Ashley Freeman, DASH Founder

Ten years ago, this month, DASH Network took in its first asylum seeker. 

Several months before that the strangest thing happened to me.  

At the time when several asylum seekers were living in my house, God sent a woman to me, who I’d never talked to, and who had no way of knowing I was connected with asylum seekers. 

She told me that she had a word for me. That she had a vision of a home where people from all nations would find refuge. And she said, It will succeed, because God himself will make it succeed.” 

I never saw her again. 

Yet it felt in my spirit like it was a word from God.  A promise.    

So a few months later I had done a little research, given the idea a name, asked my church to act as an umbrella, recruited three young loosely committed, non-hosting volunteers, made a little website and a rough plan to recruit hosts. Someone donated $1,000 to help get us started. 

We had no hosts, no apartments, no systems, no start-up experience, no fundraising experience nor plan. 

But I felt in my soul that I had a promise from God.

“It will succeed, because God himself will make it succeed.” 

Before I felt ready to launch, I received a desperate phone call from an African political activist seeking asylum. I decided to go ahead and look for housing for him and immediately, found accommodations. And there it was. DASH had just taken in its first resident. And God immediately showed us that He was with us and would provide for us. 

Sharlyn asked me to write what it meant to me to watch DASH grow from a tiny seed, ten years ago, into the beautiful, healthy, fruitful non-profit that nourishes many souls today.  

To me it has meant seeing God make good, again and again, on that promise resounding in my heart that He gave me. 

It has meant seeing firsthand that if God wants to do something, there is nothing that can get in His way, not even our insufficiencies.

I cannot count or begin to retell all of the stories of the million little miracles – the answers to prayers – and the ways God has carried this ministry. 

When everything felt chaotic and overwhelming in the first years of launching a start-up, 

God provided.

When we did not have enough people or money to serve the people in front of us, 

God provided.  

When we lacked wisdom and direction, 

God provided

Why? Why would God keep making this ministry succeed despite our insufficiencies? 

I think it’s because God loves the beautiful, resilient sisters and brothers, made in His image, more than we ever could, and he loves to show compassion, welcome, and restoration to his children. We, all of us who serve in DASH, are only an instrument in His strong and loving hand as He does His work both in and through our lives.

God has shown me through this journey that this is not my ministry that fails or succeeds because of me, nor does it belong to or fail or succeed because of any other current leader or circumstance. This is God’s ministry

So when we look forward to the next ten years, even when we navigate pressures or uncertainties, I have complete trust that in its mission to serve people seeking asylum with Christ’s compassionate and welcoming love, DASH will continue to succeed because God himself will make it succeed. 

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