I have always loved trees, especially Acacia (uh-kay-sha) trees. Although using it as a name was not even something I was considering at the time. Finding a name for a new non-profit is quite difficult since so many names are already taken. I struggled for weeks trying to figure out a name that was not only creative and not taken, but one that spoke to the vision God put on my heart. I would sit down at my desk for hours, writing down ideas and asking others their thoughts.
One day I sat down at my desk and started back up the grueling process of naming. My nose was dived into my notebook, as always, as I doodled away ideas. I became very frustrated and thought about just giving up. That is when I heard something tell me, “Look up.”
I looked up from my notebook and right in front of me was a miniature version of an acacia tree made of metal wires and clay. It was a gift given to me by a group of students I taught while living in Kenya the previous year. “Acacia!” I said aloud. “Acacia of Hope!” I then sifted through all my photos from my visits to South Africa, Rwanda, and Kenya and noticed Acacia trees were all over them! I have been taking pictures of acacia trees since my very first trip to Africa.
A little background on the Acacia tree….The Acacia tree is a native tree to Africa and its wood was used to build some of God’s most precious things. Noah used Acacia wood when building the arc. The Ark of the Covenant was made of Acacia wood. It was used in some of the temples and tabernacles as well.
The Acacia tree has very deep roots that help it survive through droughts and famines. It also can provide shelter to animals from the hot sun. From far away, the tree stands there beautiful and strong. From up close, it has thorns to protect itself from other nature.
The Acacia tree represents Acacia of Hope well. Our roots are deep into the African soil and we support the beautiful and strong peoples of Africa. Most of all, we will be here for manys years to come!