Charles Mugisha was born to a Rwandan family living as refugees in Uganda. His parents fled Rwanda after the first genocide in 1959. Life was not easy for refugees in a war-stricken Uganda under the rule of several dictators. It was during this time that Charles learned how to pray.
As the war came to an end, Charles wanted to return to school. Desperate for an education he began praying in his own words. As tears poured down his face Charles felt connected to God for the first time. He began to attend church in a neighboring village and gave his life to Christ. Just a few weeks later, Charles joined with other young people and began preaching the gospel on the streets.
After attending College in Kampala, Uganda’s capital city, Charles began ministry in a nearby suburban of Kampala in Gaba to work with a church planter. Although the spiritual opposition in that village was strong, Charles and his mentor, Pastor Peter Kasirivu prayed and persevered in ministry. Eventually, a church was established and hundreds of people started coming to Christ. Today a church of more than 2,000 people and various ministries to the poor are in that community.
In the early nineties, Charles was a missionary in England and Northern Ireland. In 1995, after the 1994 genocide in Rwanda, Charles returned to his family in Uganda and discovered that his father had returned to Rwanda. Charles followed. Even though the war had ended, Charles saw signs of death everywhere. When he saw the orphaned, widowed and homeless, Charles knew he had to do something to help these people.
Charles received an invitation to attend Multnomah University in Portland, Oregon. With the help of churches and individuals, Charles arrived in the U.S. with his wife, Florence, and their son, Isaac. His burden to help Rwandan children, refugees and the genocide survivors remained on his heart.
In 2001, while in seminary, Charles wrote the ministry plan for Africa New Life. And that summer he and Florence returned to Rwanda to see what God wanted to do with them and through the ministry. When they returned the U.S. for the next semester, Charles and Florence brought 30 pictures of children who needed to be sponsored and the ministry was born.
Today Africa New Life provides for more than 9,000 children on track towards a high school graduation, vocational training and university graduation.
Charles completed his Doctorate through Gordon Conwell Seminary in 2015. Together, he and Florence are raising their four children: Isaac, Jonathan, Sarah and Joseph in Rwanda.