Ryan Jasper didn’t expect that going on a surf trip would change his life forever. At the time, he was a successful CEO of a retail store with 17 surf shops. But God had something more in store. While on a surf trip in Nicaragua, Ryan witnessed children rummaging through massive garbage dumps looking for food. His heart broke for them as he looked on. One thing he noticed was that all the kids were barefoot and they were walking through a dump that contained dangerous medical waste, including used needles. It was this inciting moment that sparked the vision of Beautiful Feet.
Determined to do something about the extreme poverty he had witnessed, Ryan began collaborating with shoe distributors to donate unused or defective shoes to children in poverty. On June 26, 2010, Ryan and a small group of volunteers placed shoes on the feet of 500 children in La Chureca, Nicaragua. And with that small act of love, Beautiful Feet was born. The shoes represented so much more to the kids who received them. They represented hope for a better future.
The inspiration for the name “Beautiful Feet” came from the Scriptures. Isaiah 52:7 says, “How beautiful on the mountains are the feet of the messenger who brings good news, the good news of peace and salvation, the news that the God of Israel reigns!”
More than just a nonprofit that delivered shoes to children in need, Beautiful Feet became an invitation for people to become a part of bringing good news to one of the poorest places in the world.
The story of Beautiful Feet doesn’t end there. As Ryan and our team started meeting the need for shoes for the small Nicaraguan community, we had a revelation. Providing shoes was a temporary fix. We wanted to find a permanent solution that would break the cycle of poverty for these families.
Through prayer and research, we realized that the best way to give a child hope for a better future was to get that child out of the dump and into school. It was this realization that led Beautiful Feet to begin a one-to-one child sponsorship program. Through the child sponsorship program, we began fighting poverty one step at a time through intentional physical, spiritual, educational, and economic transformation.
Currently, there are over 160 children who are being sponsored through Beautiful Feet. These children receive daily nutrition, school uniforms, medical attention, and the support of a local church and pastor. More than that, they receive letters and photos from their sponsors in America. They know that someone loves them and believes in them.
Without these sponsorships, 160 kids would still be rummaging through the garbage dumps for years on end. They wouldn’t be educated. They wouldn’t know that God loves them or that they can have a better future.
Not only that but, without these sponsorships, 160 Americans would still find themselves wishing they could make a difference in the world. They’d be overwhelmed by the problems in the world but not know what to do.
Instead, 160 Americans are changing the world one child at a time. Beautiful Feet’s child sponsorship program gives Americans who want to make a difference a tangible, personal way to do that. Our child sponsorship program is central to everything we do in Nicaragua, and now Guatemala as well.
Beautiful Feet also invites students and young adults who want to make a difference to be a part of the cause through mission trips. Our mission trips allow students to share the love of Jesus while also helping meet the physical and spiritual needs of children and families in extreme poverty. After seeing how these families live and getting to know the children, students’ lives are never the same. It leaves a mark on their heart that leads them to live a life of compassion and generosity long after they’ve gone home.
At Beautiful Feet, we view our cause as an adventure. That’s why, with each mission trip, we do something adventurous, like hike a volcano or go surfing. We believe in living every day to the fullest and discovering the courage that God intends for us to have.
Even though Beautiful Feet has been around for years, we’re only just getting started. As long as there are children living in poverty, desperate to know that God loves them, we’ll stay faithful to the cause. And we’d love for you to be a part of it.