Fourteen years ago, a shoe box was dropped at Samaritan’s Purse by a boy in Idaho, USA named Tyrel Wolfe, to be sent halfway around the world to a recipient he never knew. Inside the box were toys and novelties with a picture of himself dressed up in a cowboy shirt and a little note from him.
Joana, an 8-year-old Filipina girl turned-out to be the recipient of the said box.
It was during Operation Christmas Child Box in 2000 that Joana received the shoe box whom she never knew will change her life in the future. Soon after she got hold of the box, she thought of thanking the boy who had made her Christmas seemed special with a simple note which she wrote back for him but never got a response.
Joana didn’t give up on her way to show gratitude to the boy so she kept the boy’s information and after 10 years, she tried to look for him on Facebook.
I still wanted to thank the person who gave me the box that had meant so much to me. Joana said.
A lot of names appeared under the name of “Tyrel Wolfe” on the search engine of Facebook when Joana searched for him. But she got one name who lives in Idaho, so she took the chance of messaging him, hoping he was the one which she actually did!
Tyrel was surprised to receive such message from Joana and after period of chats of getting to know each other, they’ve discovered that they have a lot of things in common.
A family friend said, They were both passionate about music, with different styles and both sing and play at least one musical instrument. And Joana had always dreamed of a quiet life in the country. said a family friend.
Even if there was 15 hours difference between the time in the Philippines and the USA, the two had allotted a regular time to communicate with each other. But the time came when the two had agreed that if they wanted to have a relationship more than friendship, they have to already personally see each other.
Tyrel did what he thought of was right being a gentleman. He saved money in order to purchase a ticket to fly to the Philippines and meet Joana.
The most awaited time came when the two finally met each other personally. Once I saw his face, an amazing feeling came over me. I was so happy I cried,” Joana said.
While in the Philippines, Tyrel asked from Joana’s father his blessing for them to have a long distance relationship which Joana’s father freely granted.
When Tyrel went back to the US, he just knew that he had to go back to see Joana again. He worked hard enough for long periods of time as a bridge builder in order to save for his ticket.
Surely, Tyrel’s hard work had paid off when he was able to raise ample amount of money which made it possible for him to go back to the Philippines and reunite with Joanna for the holidays.
Tyrel stayed in the Philippines for the whole month of December and for the second time, asked for the blessing of Joana’s father not for the long distance relationship but this time, to be married with her.
Joana and Tyrel flew to the United States and got married on October 5, 2014.
14 years after Tyrel had blessed an 8-year-old girl with a shoe box, he was then blessed with a happy life with her that he could spend with for the rest of his life.
I remember as a little boy, I was so excited to know the toys and other items I put in the box would bring joy to another child somewhere else in the world. I just didn’t know the joy it would bring back to me one day.
During their wedding, the married couple gave their guests a shoe box as somehow sharing something that has been a big part of their lives.
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