Remembering Mike Sunker

On Friday, April 23, 2021, Reverend Mike Sunker passed away due to illness. Mike Sunker and his wife Renu have been serving orphaned children in Johannesburg, South Africa for the past 21 years. In 2000, they founded the Christ Church Christian Care Centre (the 5Cs Orphanage). You might recognize this organization from our annual Alternative Christmas Bazaar. Mike was not of this earthly world. He was a relentless warrior of compassion and love for Christ! One of Mike’s quotes sums up his missional purpose very well – “There are many things in life that can wait, but the needs of a child cannot.” Mike was gentle, loving, and kind to all. He was driven by his unwavering faith to save the lives of as many precious children as he could. His legacy of unconditional love and compassion for vulnerable children will continue to thrive in the lives of those impacted through the 5Cs Orphanage.

Mike and Renu married 51 years ago and have three children and five grandchildren. Mike and Renu grew up Hindu and share a very powerful story of conversion to Christianity.  Shortly after committing their lives to Christ, Mike entered pastoral ministry in 1982 and served as senior pastor of a church for 15 years. In the late 1990s, Mike and Renu sensed God calling them into a life devoted to caring for orphaned children in South Africa. 

Due to the HIV/AIDS epidemic, approximately one in five children in South Africa is orphaned. The orphans are particularly vulnerable to poverty, malnutrition, stigma, exploitation, sickness, and sexual abuse. The 5Cs Orphanage provides a full-time home for approximately 95 vulnerable children.  All of the children are school-age and attend public schools in the area. The Centre also runs a soup kitchen that feeds the homeless, and other vulnerable children and young adults in the community. Both the orphanage and soup kitchen ministries serve as Bible-based outreach and education programs for the residents of the Centre as well as street kids in the area. The 5Cs Orphanage aims to demonstrate the love and compassion of Jesus in practical life-changing ways. The Centre is also a platform from which to present the gospel and reach the local community with help and healing. The Centre is run by approximately 18 full-time staff. Our church has commissioned numerous teams to go and serve at the orphanage and has provided ongoing financial support for the 5Cs ministry since 2004.

Please pray for Renu, the staff, and the children. There are many ongoing financial needs at the orphanage. If you’d like to make a memorial donation to the 5Cs orphanage, click the “Donate Now” button below.

If you prefer to donate by check, please make your check payable to Shepherd’s Grove Presbyterian Church and mail to: Shepherd’s Grove, 4445 Alton Parkway, Irvine, CA 92604, ATTN: Curtis Drever. Write “Mike Sunker Memorial” in the memo section of your check.  You can learn more about the 5Cs Orphanage by visiting their website at