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God is working in Ukraine through Incarnation Tallahassee

March 5, 2024
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By Kenley Cogan

Legacy Refuge is an orphan care ministry focused on serving children living in and evacuated from Ukraine. Our mission is to see every orphan come to know Christ, heal from trauma, and live a healthy, productive life. 

I am currently on my way home from a trip to Ukraine, where my director and I visited our team, children we serve, and partners in multiple cities in central Ukraine, including Kyiv, Zolatanosha, and Vinnytsia. The goal of this trip was to explore partnership opportunities and to provide support and encouragement for all of these beloved people who are discouraged and broken down by life overshadowed by war. We were able to meet with 6 different partner organizations and to host a 1-day summit that gathered leaders in orphan care from several organizations together for worship, vision, and prayer. 

Our current projects include the following: 

– Ongoing relational ministry (summer and winter camps, which are designed to share the hope of Christ, continuous mentorship and support for individual children and teens, and provision of tangible needs such as winter coats and food) to 8 orphanage groups – including well over 200 children. The congregation of Incarnation Tallahassee assisted our team beautifully in preparing Christmas stockings for the groups we visited in December and January. 

– Ministry to orphanage graduates, including 1-on-1 mentorship, job and volunteer opportunities (our volunteer base in Ukraine is made up largely of our program graduates!), and our Filtered Hope program. Filtered Hope is a gospel-centered job and life skills program designed for orphaned and vulnerable young adults approaching and entering adulthood – we have hosted 2 full-length programs and 3 mini-intensives, and are currently in the process of further developing our curriculum. We are so thankful for Grace, a sister from Incarnation, who is a core piece of our Filtered Hope team, and we will soon host our first US-based Filtered Hope for Ukrainian teens and young adults who have resettled to Tallahassee and surrounding areas. In addition, we are preparing to host a program in Sviatopetrivs’ke, Ukraine in April, another in Ethiopia (in partnership with a local ministry) in July, and a third in Austria or Germany in August. 

– Resettlement of Ukrainian refugees in and around Tallahassee. 2 single mothers, each escaping domestic violence and abusive situations and each with 2 young children, have found welcome and safety in Tallahassee. 4 teenagers have similarly been successfully resettled, and 6 other individuals have been supported and cared for at different times their transition to life in the US. We are currently in various stages of the process of bringing one other elderly couple and 3 teenage orphanage graduates.

More about Legacy Refuge and their work: