Friday, June 1, 2012

BENI -- Naselesele TRAGIC Casualty

When i first met Beni, he was only four years old. He was holding 3-year old Miriama’s hand to help her down G’ma Tuvi’s steps. i knew then that he was a kind-hearted child – a gentle man in the making.
At 11 years old, Beni killed himself.

What happened to the child with whom i fell in love? What happened in those seven years? How could a rosary-wearying, church-attending, family-surrounded child come to such a desperate state as to see no way out but to take himself out… WAY OUT – the way out of life… the way out to death.

Beni gave clues of his downward spiral, even to me. When sitting at the treehouse in the village, i asked him to write the numbers 1 – 100. He made mistakes… i thought he was just being careless. When i was the “banker” for the children’s money and Beni decided to also put his monies in aunty Merlin’s bank, i noticed that he had so much more money than the other four kids living in the household, so much that in one week, he had surpassed their combined total. i was told that the money came from selling beer bottles. i didn’t question again how he was able to bank so much money.

Beni hinted about his inner turmoil. He drew macabre pictures of coffins and bloody daggers stabbing bodiless heads. He scribbled in his notebooks incessantly instead of doing schoolwork.

In the village, i was told, there are no real orphans, for there is always a g’ma or aunty or uncle to take care of any child whose natural mother has left him or whose father is too busy doing his own thing. Everyone in the village is that child’s substitute mom or dad, for all are related to that child in one way or another. Everyone in the village was Beni’s family… no WAY was he an orphan. He was well cared for as he lived from one relative’s house to another.

Then why did Beni not go to someone – ANY one – for help, to get him out of his predicament? Why did he not go to GOD – his very present help in times of trouble – why did he believe that no one, not even GOD, could help him?

How did he learn to do those things which got him into trouble in school… those actions that he knew were bad, which would lead to severe punishment? Who showed him or told him that “it is easy to die”?

Beni’s tragic death tested and strengthened my faith in our utterly compassionate and all-mighty GOD. i wondered how GOD will cause all things – even Beni’s death -- to work together for good to those who love Him, to those who are called according to His purpose. But as in Jazmyn’s seemingly untimely death, i trust in an all-wise GOD, who is in total control of all things and all circumstances, who gives and takes away according to His sovereign will, whose will is perfect and good all the time – though we, mere human beings, may not like or understand His ways.

Even in Beni’s death, i continue to trust in GOD’s perfect love and perfect wisdom in allowing this tragedy. As Oswald Chambers aptly wrote: It matters not WHAT GOD does – it matters only WHO GOD is!

Please donate. ALL donations will benefit the Naselesele Village school children in Taveuni, Fiji. VINAKA VAKA LEVU! 


  1. sometimes things happen that leaves us at a total loss as to why it did happen the way it did,
    this I believe is when we have to learn to accept that only God has the answers to certain things,
    Only God is all knowing and forgiving and righteous,
    And then we ought to pray that he would forgive us our sins and help us to forgive others who have wronged us
    And after all this we ought to pay more attention to the little angels that God sends us to teach us about life
    It matters not what riches we may have, nor how many children we may have, nor how big our homes are, and how well we are fed and kept at night,
    for when God says it is time to go home.."it is time"

  2. Merlin- with some experience in living with false beliefs i.e. no one or nothing can take away loneliness and despair. My heart bleeds for Benji's family. I myself saw the same spiral in my own son. As much as we miss you here at home I can see what a blessing you are to these people in Fiji. You are a model of faith and I am praying for your family here and abroad.