Do you believe in destined love? A lot of people are skeptical about this concept as they believe it is us who create our own path. However, destiny apparently favors some people, just like what happened to American Tyrel Wolfe and his Filipino wife, Joana.
Years after they got married in 2014, Tyrel and Joana’s love story continues to inspire others. It started with a simple act of charity between the two when they were still kids.
It Began with a Shoebox Gift
In 2000, young Joana received by chance a Christmas shoebox gift from the young Tyrel living in Idaho. The box, which was sent through charity organization Samaritan’s Purse’s Operation Christmas Child, contained small toys and other items.
There was also Tyrel’s photo, where his name and address were specified.
Joana tried to send Tyrel a letter to send her thanks, but unfortunately, Tyrel failed to receive it. Many years later, Joana tried to search Tyrel’s name on Facebook to connect with him.
While he initially declined Joana’s friend request, Tyrel eventually accepted it and they soon became friends. Thus began their constant communication through Facebook and exchanging letters.
From Friends to Husband and Wife
In 2013, Tyrel finally decided to visit Joana in the Philippines. Despite their apprehension at first, both shared how happy they felt upon seeing each other in person.
“Once I saw his face, an amazing feeling came over me,” Joana stated. “I was so happy I cried.”
Both Christians, the pair believes what happened to them was something intended by God.
Tyrel decided that Joana finding him after so many years was not a matter of chance. “It was just through God that she found me,” he told Fox 9.
After a few visits to the Philippines, Tyrel sought blessing from Joana’s father to marry the girl whom he called “the one.” In October 2014, they flew to Idaho and held an outdoor wedding ceremony on Tyrel’s parents’ ranch.
Keeping the Tradition
The couple remained grateful for the charity and the shoebox gift-giving operation that started it all. Thus, they asked their wedding guests to gift them instead with shoeboxes packed with gifts for donation. “Operation Christmas Child is what brought Joana and me together, so we wanted to somehow make the project a part of our celebration,” Tyrel said.
Now, Tyrel and Joana are living happily with their kid in a quaint home in Idaho.