Tyrel Wolfe packed a shoebox when he was just seven years old in the hopes that it would be shipped to a youngster who lived on the other side of the globe. Tyrel was a contented, charitable boy who merely desired to assist people. The youngster had grown into a man almost a decade earlier, and it seemed that he would soon be reminded of the occasion when he decided to participate in Operation Christmas Child. Join us as we examine this moving tale of a young guy whose life was forever changed by a simple act of kindness he performed as a child.
All It Took Was One Photo
Tyrel Wolfe sent a shoebox abroad when he was a young child. He only wanted to slightly improve the recipient’s quality of life. But more than ten years later, that same youngster has grown into a man, and it appears that he has been reminded once more of that shoebox he built all those years ago.
In 2000, Wolfe was only seven years old. The Idaho-born boy swiftly assembled a shoebox full of toys for Operation Christmas Child. He did, however, add a picture of himself. This is what actually started this thing off.
Young Tyrel was aware of the significance of assisting others despite coming from modest roots and not having the most secure environment. From the beginning, his parents instilled in him the important idea that if you have something to give, you should do everything in your power to give it to someone who needs it more.
The shoebox played a role in this. The Wolfes learned about an effort that the local church had set up since they were frequent attendees.
Operation Christmas Child
Tyrel participated in Operation Christmas Child at the age of just seven. The campaign was started by Samaritan’s Purse and was well-liked by many Christian communities all around the world.
The assignment was straightforward: take a shoebox, decorate it, and put toys and other necessities inside. The church will then send each shoebox to a child who came from less fortunate circumstances. Next, you take the shoebox and deliver it to the church. Tyrel carried out exactly this action.
A Time For Giving
Tyrel was an unquestionably good-hearted young man, that much was clear. His humanitarian shoebox was going to be sent somewhere, but he had no idea where.
He only knew it was the holiday season, a time when giving is encouraged with a capital “G.” He thought the thought of giving to someone in need would make both his and their Christmases much more heartfelt. However, perhaps there was more to it.
Longing For A Friend
Tyrel has pleasant memories of his upbringing, but his social life has never been all that exciting. Tyrel experienced bullying at school and in his social circles frequently, and he infrequently had someone who had his back in the worst of circumstances.
Tyrel acknowledged that despite having a few more friends during his college years, he still felt a little bit different.
Mysterious Friend Request
Tyrel persevered through high school and college, and now he was a young man navigating the world. But one strange day, something unusual occurred. When Tyrel got into Facebook, he saw that a friend request had come from someone he didn’t know.
Joana Marchan, a woman from the Philippines, was the person in question. Tyrel was curious as to who this individual was but finally turned down the request due to security concerns. But this tale was far from ended…
Tyrel originally refused to add Joana as a friend, but then changed his mind and agreed to do so. In the end, he wasn’t sure if this was a familiar face or not.
Did Tyrel forget about her while studying with this person? He made the decision to not think about it too much and clicked the accept tab while keeping an open mind. Without waiting, Joana messaged Tyrel. However, the young man was utterly taken aback by what she wrote to him.
I Have Your Photo!
Tyrel eagerly awaited her reply, opened his email, and began to read. In all honesty, the Idahoan man found it hard to trust what the young Filipina woman had written to him.
Joana claimed to have a photo of Tyrel as a little boy. Was this the young lady who got Tyrel’s shoebox for Operation Christmas Child? Or was there something else involved? Tyrel was initially completely perplexed by the circumstances. So he got in touch with his folks.
Well, This Is Confusing
Not only did this woman assert that she had Tyrel’s picture, but she also informed Tyrel that she had previously attempted to write him a thank-you note. However, they were ultimately quite skeptical and did not believe Joana when he told his parents what had just happened.
They instructed Tyrel to inquire about the girl’s ability to describe the photo she was in possession of. They could then more easily determine whether she was telling the truth or not.
She Was Telling The Truth
Surprisingly, it was the very same photograph that Tyrel had sent in that shoebox all those years earlier. Tyrel was dressed as a cowboy in the picture, exactly as Joanna had described.
The two kept in touch via messages over the following few weeks as they became more at comfortable with the entire situation. But as time passed, it became increasingly obvious that this was actually the beginning of a lovely friendship.
Beginning Of A Beautiful Friendship
Tyrel had discovered a true friend in Joanna, especially after learning about all of their shared interests. Tyrel and Joana had so many similar interests even though they lived thousands of miles apart.
They had a passion for Christian music, which was probably their most defining similarity. Over the course of more than a year, they started sending each other links to their favorite music. But no one could have predicted Tyrel’s subsequent action…
Tyrel and Joana have become increasingly close over the past year, so he asked if he could visit the Philippines to meet her in person. With nothing to lose, the young man booked a flight to Manila after she answered “yes”.
Tyrel boarded his plane and headed to Joana’s region of the earth with plenty of money stored up and no obligations keeping him from doing so. “I knew I was taking a big risk,” he said, after revealing that he never traveled anywhere alone before.
Tyrel was concerned that he was going wrong during that long flight. However, he no longer felt anxious after arriving in Manila and first meeting Joana.
Tyrel believed he had made the best choice of his life when he first laid eyes on her. He admitted to People magazine in an interview, “I was immediately attracted to her. Tyrel’s feelings toward Joana were evident. However, this raised the issue, “What did Joana think of him?”
What Did Joana Think?
It appears that Joana experienced similar emotions after meeting Tyrel. “Once I saw his face, an amazing feeling came over me,” she said. Both sides were overjoyed to have finally met, and Tyrel was simply happy that Joana shared their sentiments.
“When I finally got there and saw her, I had to punch myself a couple of times because I thought it was a dream,” said he. So what did the two pals do while Tyrel was there?
Short But Sweet
Tyrel had the chance to meet Joana’s family and explore Manila while he was there. The two had plenty of time to hang out and get to know one another even better on their fantastic trip.
But as they say, all good things must come to an end. Tyrel’s time in Manila was quickly coming to an end, and he would soon have to board a plane for his return trip to his home country. Tyrel, however, had other ideas.
I’m In Love With You
Despite the fact that he was under pressure to travel back to the U.S., which he did, Tyrel couldn’t ignore the deep feelings he had acquired for Joana. He had a deep, abiding love for her.
Tyrel refused to accept a long-distance relationship characterized by Skype discussions and scheduling that took time zones into account. He consequently decided to follow his instinct and move back to Manila. However, this journey was completely different from the last one.
Will You Marry Me?
Tyrel arrived in Manila and visited Joana once more after that. He was impatient to see her again in person and couldn’t bear to make one more Skype conversation.
Tyrel, however, arrived in the Philippines this time with a clear intention and purpose. He intended to approach Joana and request her hand in marriage when he arrived. She agreed to marry Tyrel and expressed her desire to do so, but before everything was set, he still needed to do one more task.
Tyrel had to sit down with Joana’s parents and seek their okay before the two could forward with getting married.
Fortunately, they responded positively. Tyrel was the wonderful man that Joana had discovered, and her parents were sure that she was in good hands because of him. But there was still one more obstacle standing in the path of their holy union. Unexpectedly, Tyrel’s parents were much more uneasy than Joana’s!
The Wedding’s On
Tyrel’s mother claimed that she thought the young couple was jumping in way too soon. Before getting married, she wanted her son and Joana to take things a little more slowly and give their relationship some time to grow.
Tyrel eventually convinced his parents to fly all the way to Manila and meet Joana’s parents since he was adamant about marrying Joana. Naturally, both sets of parents got along, and the wedding was once again scheduled.
The Big Day
The big day for Tyrel and Joana arrived soon enough. The couple exchanged vows in October 2014 at a ranch owned by the groom’s parents. In addition to having everything ready for the wedding, Tyrel wore a “barong,” a customary outfit worn by Filipino men on their special day.
The most appropriate part of Tyrel and Joana’s lovely wedding, though, was perhaps when they requested that everyone construct a custom Christmas shoebox for them.
The newlyweds sent their wedding shoeboxes to Samaritans Purse, exactly like Tyrel did all those years ago, in what can only be described as a special kind of honeymoon. The pair included a note describing the history of their courtship in each and every shoebox.
“We do want to demonstrate our concern and desire to spread our love. Operation Christmas Child brought us together, and we are both extremely thankful and happy for that,” Tyrel said.
Life After The Wedding
It shouldn’t be a surprise that Joana has experienced a fresh change ever since relocating to the United States with Tyrel. “It was a big change and adjustment for me,” she said. “I was raised in the city and now I’m living in the country with much fewer people and more space, but it’s a beautiful place.”
Even though she occasionally missed home, Joana was confident in her decision. However, something else transpired that significantly deepened the meaning of this tale.
They Had A Baby
After their first three years of marriage had flown by, they were delighted to announce the birth of their son as their first child. When Tyrel shared this picture of him and their child on Facebook, it seemed as though the narrative had come full circle.
After all, the parents of the newborn were initially drawn together by a photo. It’s incredible to think that this lovely love tale began with only one photograph. It just goes to show how one little thing can make a big difference.