The dream of having a not-for-profit café operating out of the Byron Bay Adventist Church (NSW) was born about 12 years ago when a core group of people got excited about running a free community meal on Thursday nights. This community meal was well received and very popular, regularly bringing between 200 and 400 people together to enjoy healthy plant-based dishes.
Some years later the church appointed a steering committee who worked through the process of establishing Manna Haven Ministries Inc. If it had not been for Bob and Tony along with other helpers, the necessary building work would not have occurred.
As this is a faith ministry we are dependent on God, through His people, to sustain and expand this ministry.
Anita Carvill was appointed manager and with help from the management committee, a good dose of faith, many generous donations and God’s blessings, Manna Haven Ministries was officially dedicated on May 5, 2012 and opened soon after.
Since its opening, community feedback has been overwhelmingly positive with travel site TripAdvisor recently awarding Manna Haven a coveted Certificate of Excellence for the second year in a row, and ranking the café among the top places to eat in Byron Bay. It’s no small feat, considering that the beachside town boasts more than 130 dining options. Many of its reviewers express surprise and delight at finding food that is both healthy and delicious, particularly those unaccustomed to vegetarian dining.
“As this is a faith ministry we are dependent on God, through His people, to sustain and expand this ministry,” says Heather Kingston, who is currently managing Manna Haven.
Although it operates as a business with paid workers, many people have willingly contributed their time and talents to the café and its operation. It has long been a dream that the café be the face of a broader health ministry and gospel mission, however this has been difficult to realise with limited resources.
“There have been periods of discouragement but God is good and we believe help is on the way,” Mrs Kingston says. “We are endeavouring to bring a minister into Australia who will be able to work with a team to establish more outreach ministries associated with the café. Our greatest needs are funds and dedicated gospel workers to get these other ministries up and running. We have committed these needs to God in prayer and are excited to see what God holds for the future of Manna Haven Ministries.”
To learn more about Manna Haven Café, click HERE.