Jonathan and Sophia

Jonathan and Sophia (not their real names) taught me about the simple things.  The things I take for granted.   They've been homeless for about three years now and live in Greenville's Tent City.

We were sitting at a booth in McDonalds when I asked about their dreams for the future.  After a brief silence, Jonathan said, "I'd really like to just live a normal life again." It took me back, not expecting such a simple answer and made me realize what I take for granted.

Jonathan lives in a tent with Sophia. In all kinds of weather, he walks or takes the bus to his job where he makes minimum wage washing dishes at a restaurant.  He works part time, but is hoping to work full time soon. That week his paycheck was one hundred and fifty dollars.  A bad thunderstorm ripped the tarp off their tent and let in the rain, ruining their sheets and clothes.  One hundred dollars was spent to replace the tent and fifty dollars to wash their clothes.  And that was the end of their paycheck for that week.

Jonathan seems like a good man.  He takes care of Sophia, working hard and trying his best.

Sophia told me a story of a day when Jonathan was at work and she sat in her tent, wishing she had a broom.  She asked Jesus to put it on Jonathan's heart to find a broom for her. Low and behold, he came back with a broom and a pair of flip flops for her. He had found them in a dumpster and thought Sophia would like to use them. Sophia praised the Lord when she saw what was in his hand.

"So what are you needing right now? I wanna help you guys, what can I help you with?" I quietly held my breath expecting to hear what I always hear from the homeless, "money." But instead I get another simple response, quarters for laundry, socks and maybe some candles for light when its dark. Oh and a few plastic containers so their clothes won't get wet the next time they have a storm.

By the end of the day, they admitted that if they ever lived a normal life again, their next dreams would be... Jonathan - "traveling around American in an RV" with Sophia adding, "I'd like to be a writer."


  1. Hello Hannah. So good to know you through your profile on the blogger. I am so glad stop by your blog "Visual Addiction" and the post on it "Jonathan and Sophia". I am so touched by your story about the couple whom you have captured in your camera. Yes you are Visual Addict and those stories come so lively touching your posts followers. I am blessed and touched by this story. Well Hannah I am so tempted to invite you to come to Mumbai, India on a short / long term missions trip to work with us. Our church in Mumbai, India has an out reach ministry to the poorest of poor in the slums of Mumbai and we reach out to them with the love of Christ to bring healing to the broken hearted. It would be a great time for you to capture many live stories in the slums of Mumbai with the homeless people, orphans and hundreds of under privileged people. I am sure you will never be the same. I am in the Pastoral ministry for last 35yrs in this city of Mumbai a city with great contrast where richest of rich and the poorest of poor live. We also encourage young people like you as well as adults from the West to come to MUMBAI on a short / long term missions trip to work with us in the slums of Mumbai to work with us amongst poorest of poor to share with them the good news of Jesus Christ and to give them new hope, purpose and future. We would love to have you come with your friends on a short / long term missions trip during your summer/ Christmas vacation. My email id is: dhwankhede(at)gmail(dot)com and my name is Diwakar Wankhede. Looking forward to hear from you very soon.


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