Mama Angelique

Around the True Vineyard offices, Bellancila is known as Mama Angelique after her firstborn child. In the years leading up to the 1994 Rwandan Genocide, her family lived in fear of constant violent harassment and death threats. Aggressors would arrive at their house, demanding payment in exchange for their lives. They were threatened, beaten, and tortured for their cultural identities. During the genocide, her family lost everything, including their home and car, and her husband was permanently handicapped. They were left among the poorest of the poor, and their impoverishment rendered them vulnerable. In 1999, her husband was killed in a car wreck. Both of her daughters faced further traumas: rape, unwanted pregnancies, and early marriages. Her son Patrick turned to drugs, believing they offered him the only happiness to get from life.

Today, twenty years later, Mama Angelique and her children continue to be haunted by their scars, memories, and loss. All seven of her children are deeply affected by what they experienced and witnessed, most of them suffering from physical and mental disabilities because of the violence they faced before and during the genocide. Mama Angelique is reminded of all she lost by the scars on her shoulder, hand, and head, remnants of slashes from a machete, and her bullet-marred leg, but these scars also remind her that it is by the grace of God that she is alive today. Above all things, she is happy to know Jesus, and even in the most unstable, insecure times, she never stops proclaiming His name. She is incredibly thankful for the support and counseling offered by True Vineyard Ministries. It has given her an anchor to hold onto in order to survive.