By SHERRY VAN ARSDALL
THE GOSHEN NEWS
Bubu Zaney has a gift of making friends.
And he tries to make a difference in his community, one person at a time, one neighbor at a time.
“I have the gift of friendship. I want to share Jesus Christ with everyone I know,” Zaney said. “I’m a social creature and easy to approach.”
He makes friends first and then shares his faith, because “I don’t want to push it on people.”
The Goshen resident was born in Ghana and has been in America for 20 years after coming to Goshen College as a student.
“I have one leg in America and one leg in Ghana. I belong to both places,” Zaney said.
His outlook on life revolves around the biblical stance of loving others as himself.
“The natural instinct of a Christian is to think beyond yourself. It motivates me to step out and put into action and help in the community,” he said. “I hope the future frees up (in people helping others) and the younger people can witness it and see this is the way it’s supposed to be.”
He attends St. Mark’s United Methodist Church in Goshen and participates in the various activities and events the church puts on to help the community, as well as LaCasa projects.
“I’ve worked on roofs and helped build decks for people,” Zaney said. “Personally I like to reach out to my neighbors and not do it in the public eye. I like to welcome them in. So many people can live in the same neighborhood for years and don’t know their neighbors. I want to get to know them.”
Zaney said he’s trying to help change the negative image his neighborhood on the north side has gained over the years.
“Running away from the neighborhood won’t make changes. We need to change it to make it better,” he said. “We need to take ownership and find ways to signal positive energy.”
He said there are three positive facilities within his neighborhood: The Boys & Girls Club of Goshen, Chamberlain Elementary School and St. Mark’s United Methodist Church.
“They are near a little bit of a hill,” Zaney said, smiling. “I have a dream, a simple vision to have a summer open theater with a stage where parents can see children do plays and do other constructive things to bring people together.”
Zaney’s job at Forks RV in Middlebury provides opportunities for him to help others as well.
“I enjoy working there. It is a Christian place. We went to a church to pack food for children in other parts of the world. My company organized that and I was glad to take part,” Zaney said.
He has a sign in his home with the words: “Only one life twill soon be past, Only what’s done for Christ will last.”
“I have been warmly taken in by this community and I want to give back to them,” he said.