About Us

OUR NAME | Acacia of Hope is a unique name. The Acacia tree is a sacred and beloved tree of Africa. Its breath-taking silhouette displays Africa’s beauty, while its thorns show Africa’s strength. Acacia of Hope wants to continue that beauty and strength by sharing God’s love and giving opportunities to those in Kenya, most notably in Kibera.







WHERE WE WORK | Kibera Slum is the second largest slum in the entire world. It holds between 2 to 3 million people. It is so densely populated that a census cannot be completed. The average size of a home is 12 feet by 12 feet, and usually sleeps eight to twenty-four people. Homes are made of scrap metal & wood. Twenty percent of Kibera have access to electricity. One toilet is shared by almost 300 peoples.

Its unspeakable conditions of bacteria-infested water, little access to clean water, and over a half a million orphan children does not even cover the initial issues Kibera has.

Acacia of Hope is here to not just help these beautiful people, but to make a difference in their lives through opportunities.





Mission | To empower the people of east Africa spiritually, educationally, and economically.

Vision | We envision a world created where undeserved communities are given equal opportunity.


Truth | 1 Corinthians 3:11 | We are founded upon Christ & provide opportunity for all to know Him.

We stand on the firm foundation of God and sow seeds of Truth through action. All that we do centers around God because He produces life. God is the owner of our organization.

Empowerment | Colossians 3:23 | We seek to catalyze a movement in the most undeserved communities.

We aim to do more than provide a quick fix; we strive to fix the larger systemic problem by providing opportunity to those we serve. We desire to provide support and strengthen individuals and families.

Community | Genesis 1:31 | We believe each person or entity is part of a larger mission.

We desire continual collaboration and partnership with agencies, organizations, and individuals to provide the largest impression possible. We can impact more together, than apart.

Stewardship | 1 Corinthians 9:17 | We are the caretakers of God’s blessings.

We are responsible with resources, such as money, people, and time, and those resources are entrusted to us. We conduct ministry with honesty and transparency because we recognize that these means are not ours, but God’s gift to us.

Integrity | Proverbs 10:9 | We do what is right even when no one is watching.

We complete every conversation, task, or problem thoroughly. We will do what we say and say what we will do. We know that integrity and impact go hand-in-hand.


Bernadine Rhodes | President  | Bernadine L. Rohdes is a grateful believer in Jesus Christ. She is married to her best friend Larry and have three children: Benjamin, Courtney, and Cassandra.  She was raised in West Virginia on a farm with six siblings.  She loves being outdoors and soak up all the natural beauty our Heavenly Father has made.

Laura Schwartz | Secretary | Laura has been a child of the One True God her whole life. She is married to Brent and we has 3 children – all young adults.  She loves to walk her dog, run, and generally any water sport. Her favorite activity is being with my family.

Kodi Moser | Treasurer | Kodi Moser lives in Ohio with her husband Andy and three beautiful children. Her family enjoys spending time outdoors, fishing, and hunting. The Mosers desire to involve missions into their every day life more and more.

Scott Miller | Director | Scott Miller is a pastor at Harvest Baptist Church where he works as a children’s education pastor. He loves biking, parasailing, and other dangerous activities. He can make anyone laugh and is not afraid to tell you what he thinks. Scott resides in Wapakoneta, Ohio with his wife and two children, and beautiful grandchild.

Michael Baeumel | Director | Michael is a life-long resident of Auglaize County, Ohio and follower of Jesus Christ.  Michael is married to his lovely wife Joy.  Mike has two daughters who are married and moved away as well as a step son-who resides with him and Joy.  Currently Michael is the proud grandfather to one grandson, but expecting a new granddaughter soon.

Laura Heitz | Director | Laura desires to know Christ better and to make Him known to the ends of the Earth. She is married to Steve and they each have three adult children. Laura served as a missionary in Nigeria, West Africa for nearly a decade. She wants to live out 1Chronicles 16:24a and ‘declare His glory among all nations.’


Melissa Odira |Director | Melissa Odira is our founder and oversees Acacia of Hope both in America and Kenya as our Executive Director. She personally travels to Kenya to ensure the ministry is running to the best of its capabilities. She enjoys spending time with her daughter, Zoey.

Angela Atieno | Director | Angela Atieno is an entrepreneur, running a few successful businesses. In her free time, she enjoys spending time with her three children.  Her hobbies include fitness, business, and volunteering.

Dancan Odhiambo | Director | Dan Odhiambo was born in Homabay county in Kenya. He currently works as a local tour guide in Kibera for N.V.S. organization. He also works at school for disabled students in Kibera. He enjoys singing in his free time.

Boniface Lutta | Director | Boniface Lutta is family man; he enjoys spending time with his six beautiful children.  Boniface also enjoys getting to know new people and listening to gospel music.  He currently works for a security company in Kenya.


Have Questions? Email us!


Acacia of Hope

P.O. Box 1703, Wapakoneta, Ohio 45895


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