Acts of Kindness
Pinay girl marries American boy who sent her a Christmas box 14 years earlier
These two are clearly meant to be together. What a beautiful love story.
Cherie Gozon
08.26.21

It started with a Samaritan’s Purse shoe box.

Pexels|Ekaterina Bolovtsova
Source:
Pexels|Ekaterina Bolovtsova

Samaritan’s Purse is a Christian organization that helps provide aid to less privileged people and help meet their needs.

One of their projects is letting kids from the US fill a shoebox with goodies to be sent to less fortunate countries for Christmas.

One of these boxes ended up with a young girl named Joana Marchan to the Philippines.

Samaritan Purse
Source:
Samaritan Purse

That was the year 2000. The box was filled by a young boy from Idaho named Tyrel Wolfe. That made the young Joana really happy and treasured the box.

The contents included a photo of young Tyrel with his name and address.

Little did these two know that this shoebox would lead them to a beautifully written love story.


Joana tried to reach out to Tyrel by sending him a letter, but that never reached him. Snail mail was always tricky, and by sending a letter with that much distance, it probably got lost on the way.

But thanks to new technology, they found their way to each other.

Pexels|Oleg Magni
Source:
Pexels|Oleg Magni

Joana searched for Tyrel on Facebook. She added him as a friend, but he only accepted the friend request a few months after.

Tyrel was curious how this stranger from the Philippines came to know him. Joana asked him about the Samaritan Purse box, and Tyrel knew exactly what she was talking about.

Since then, the two have exchanged messages as friends.

Pexels|Brett Jordan
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Pexels|Brett Jordan

This friendship drew them closer despite the apparent distance. Tyrel decided that he wanted to see Joana.

Saving up some money and courage, Tyrel booked a flight to finally meet Joana in June 2013. The moment they saw each other in the airport, they felt an overwhelming joy fill them.

Tyrel spent ten days in Joana’s hometown to meet her family.

YouTube Screenshot|Idaho News 6
Source:
YouTube Screenshot|Idaho News 6

The days they spent together were enough for him to know that Joana is the one. He asked her father if he could date his daughter, and their relationship bloomed from there.

Tyrel went back home, not knowing what would happen next.

The next time he visited Joana was on Christmas, and he stayed for a month this time.

YouTube Screenshot|Idaho News 6
Source:
YouTube Screenshot|Idaho News 6

He was also hoping to pop the question, not to Joana, but her father. He did so in Joana’s native language, and her father gave Tyrel his blessing.

After they celebrated their engagement in the Philippines, they spent months getting Joana’s fiancé visa before flying back to Idaho.

There, Joana and Tyrel tied the knot.


In October, they were married on Tyrel’s parent’s 400-acre farm, where Joana wore a simple yet beautiful dress from the thrift store.

Tyrel wore a Filipino native barong, a fine piece of clothing made from pine fibers.

Now, they’re enjoying the quiet country life with their son.


The couple still couldn’t believe how fate brought them together. They couldn’t imagine how one shoebox from a thousand miles away would soon get them together.

What young Tyrel didn’t realize was that the box he once filled to bring joy to others is the same box that brought joy into his life. We can all say that we are blessed when we become a blessing to others.

Learn more about their touching love story in the video below!

Please SHARE this with your friends and family.

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By Cherie Gozon
hi@sbly.com
Cherie Gozon is a contributor at SBLY Media.
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