The Christmas of 2000 marked a special day for young Filipino girl. It was the first time she laid eyes on her future husband.
7-year-old Tyrel was part of the Operation Christmas Child Program. The non-profit encouraged families to build a “Christmas box” full of toys and other items to give to less-fortunate kids. Just like Jolly Old Saint Nick, Operation Christmas Child would hand deliver the packaged presents to children around the world.
Tyrel hand picked every item in his box of goodies, customizing it specifically for a little girl his age. After traveling 7,000 miles from Idaho to the Philippines, the box was finally delivered to 7-year-old Joana. Inside the present was a small photo of a little boy along with his name and address. She had no idea she would grow up to marry that man.
The grateful young girl wrote a sweet “thank you” to the American boy. Sadly, he never received the note. Eleven years later, she tried again.
Luckily, the Filipino woman remembered his name after all those years. Now 18-years-old, Joana turned to Facebook for help. After a little research she found a profile belonging to a “Tyrel Wolfe.” Joana couldn’t be sure it was the boy who sent her the Christmas box. She figured it couldn’t hurt to check and sent him a friend request anyway.
In the tiny town if Middle, Idaho, Tyrel answered the message from “a random girl in the Philippines.” After getting to know each other a little more, the pair discovered they had quite a lot in common. They shared a “spark” that eventually blossomed into a happy marriage.
Joana saved up the money she needed to purchase a plane ticket to the United States. When she met Tyrel at the airpot, she immediately burst into tears. The couple instantly knew they were meant to be together. After Tyrel asked Joana’s father for her hand in marriage, the couple said their vows at a small wedding ceremony on Tyrel’s 400-acre farm.
The newlyweds couldn’t be happier and credit Operation Christmas Child as the matchmaker.
Travel through the couple’s journey in the video below.