EL CENTRO – Local Valley organization, Burning Bush International, held their annual Dinner & Auction, which was entitled â€œAimor Arerengâ€ meaning, â€œSharing the Blessing.â€ Â Burning Bush founder, Jim Rhodes, views the yearly dinner and auction as a way to â€œcheck inâ€ with donors and allow them to see the work that the organization has accomplished throughout the year.
The faith-based, non profit organization was launched in 2012 by Jim and Nancie Rhodes of El Centro, and primarily serves the country of Uganda. Â They provide humanitarian relief and economic sustainability to the impoverished country, along with evangelism. Â As part of their humanitarian work, the organization provides clean water wells to villages with little or no other water source, and gives goats to orphans as a means of economic stability. Â Additionally, they aid in healthcare and education.
The event Thursday night provided supporters with an overall ministry summary for 2016. Â It was a full event, which included a Ugandan specialty dinner of â€œChicken on a Stick,â€ music from local talent Elijah Banaga, special presentations from local supporters, and a silent auction. Â
The event also featured Bonnie, Jake, and Danny Jones as special speakers. Â The mother-son trio shared highlights from their recent trip with Burning Bush International in February of this year.
Bonnie Jones, a school teacher and self-described â€œadventurer at heart,â€ said, â€œWe want to share the big idea, which is [showing] all of the good Burning Bush International (BBI) does.â€
â€œKids are eating termites for survival,â€ she continued. Â She indicated that the work BBI does â€œhas an impact on everything.â€
The mother and son team aided in opening water wells, as well as bringing pillowcase dresses for girls, along with prison visits and providing medical help. Â In addition, Mrs. Jones brought a suitcase full of books which were given to schools in Uganda, and were donated in part from her students and the Kiwanis Club in El Centro. Â
The result of this experience led son Danny Jones to start a Go Fund Me page which is raising money to provide another well to those in need. Â His campaign is being accomplished entirely through social media, of which he said, â€œYou can reach literally millions of people just through your cell phone.â€
At the event, Pastor Tony Romano of Gateway Church in Brawley presented BBI with a check to provide three goats for orphans in need. Â The funds were raised from Gateway Church in just three months. Â Valley Christian Church of Imperial presented BBI with a check for $7,000 to help the organization. Â
Jim Rhodes made clear that 100% of donations go to BBIâ€™s Uganda Projects, which include hospital and prison evangelism, nutrition and feeding programs, hospital, clinic, and educational support, as well as providing goats for orphans and dresses for girls.