Shawn and Amy Sullivan are the founders of Mission 823 and have committed their lives to serving and saving children in need.
Shawn and Amy were both raised in Christian homes and church was a very big part of their lives. They actually met each other at Amy's home church in Orlando, Florida, where Shawn was stationed with the U. S. Navy. They married in 1985 and immediately received orders to report to submarine duty in Pearl Harbor, Hawaii and then on to Sasebo, Japan.
After being honorably discharged from the Navy, they moved back home to Orlando and Shawn worked for Lockheed with the Space Shuttle program at the Kennedy Space Center. It was during this time, after many years of prayer, that God began to open doors for Shawn to work in church ministry. He accepted a staff position as the Children's Pastor at his home church in Orlando and while on staff there, he went on a mission trip to Ukraine with a group from the church. This trip was when he felt God's call to serve the people of Ukraine. After returning home from this trip, Shawn and Amy decided to move to Texas to finish his college education, where Shawn served on the Pastoral staff at two different churches while attending college full time. Immediately after graduation, they were approved as missionaries through the college's partner mission organization and started raising funds to move to Ukraine and start their ministry.
After six years of fruitful service as church planters in Ukraine, the family moved back to the States to help recruit new missionaries. In January of 2009, Shawn was approached by a global non-profit organization, a supporter of our work in Ukraine, to expand their mutual outreach in Eastern Europe. The Sullivans joined their team in order to pursue opportunities to strengthen their work in Ukraine and expand their ministry to the east and to the Russian speaking people of the former Soviet Union.
Their passion to rescue more at-risk children and to strengthen and diversify their ministry led to the creation of Mission 823 in early 2018. Their vision is to relieve the suffering of vulnerable children and allow them to experience the beauty, sanctity, safety and love of family. They are dedicated to defending, rescuing and restoring at-risk children and their communities around the world.
Shawn and Amy have two grown children and currently live in the central Florida area, where the Mission 823 offices are located. Shawn travels back and forth to Ukraine multiple times each year to manage and oversee all projects and ministry and work hands-on with our staff and team there.
Taras Savchuk is the Director for Mission 823 Ukraine. He and his wife, Nadia, joined our team as the project managers at Camp Willow Park back in 2016. Since that time, Taras has managed many of our projects and taken care of all our facilities in western Ukraine, including the remodeling and opening of our newest family home, Faith House. He was named as our Ukraine Director in 2022. He and his wife Nadia currently have three children and have been an incredible asset to our team.
Taras was raised in a Christian home and attended church with his family, where his father was a deacon. He was involved in the church band and other ministries in the church. He graduated from college with a degree in the Technology of Woodworking and is a master carpenter by trade. He is still very involved in his church as he serves as our Director.