A girl from the Philippines received charity gift from an American child - 11 years later, a Facebook message changed everything
No matter what you think of 'fate', you have to admit there are stories that make you think whether we are not part of something that's bigger than us.
Personally, I'm not entirely convinced that our lives are predetermined, or we're going on tracks already carved in the rock. At the same time, every time I hear about stories like this one, I can definitely accept the possibility that I might be wrong.
The distance between the United States and the Philippines is more than 13,000 miles, but since when could a distance deal with true love? Almost never is the answer, and certainly not the case of Tyrel Wolfe of Idaho, and Joanna Marchan of Quezon City.
Fifteen years ago, when Tyrel Wolfe was a 7-year-old boy, he took part in an initiative set up by an international humanitarian organization called Samaritan's Purse. As part of the initiative, he sent a gift box full of stationery and other products for school, small toys and gifts to various countries around the world.
Wolfe had no idea where his shoebox would be. It was a decision that didn't depend on him. And his gift box made its way to Joanna Marchan of Quezon City, Manila, the Philippines.
Joanna sent Tyrell a thank-you note in return, but unfortunately the letter never reached him.
Not easily deterred, Joanna had never forgotten Tyrel for the next decade. The box had such a great meaning for her that the sender remained engraved in her memory - and she had every intention of thanking him properly.
So, after 14 long years, Joanna finally found a way to locate Tyrell in 2011. She used Facebook to send the American a friend request.
It turns out that the two had a lot in common, including their love for Christian music and their strong belief in destiny. Over the next year they corresponded on the social network, before Tyrell decided to fly to the Philippines for 10 days to meet Joanna.
Once they saw each other in reality, they knew they were meant to be together.
"The moment I saw his face, an amazing feeling filled me", Joanna recalls. "I was so glad I cried".
"All I know is that Joanna was the one," Tyrell said.
It wasn't long before Tyrell returned to the Philippines, this time to propose marriage to Joanna. Then, on October 5th, 2014, the two married in a beautiful ceremony.
As a nice and moving tribute to their meeting story, the newlyweds asked the guests at the wedding to bring a gift box full of presents for Samaritan's Purse to send to children all over the world.
"The organization's operation is what brought Joanna and me together, so we wanted to include this project in our celebrations", Tyrel said. What a wonderful story of love. To think that a gift box created a connection that stood the test of time and brought together two people who lived more than 10,000 miles apart.
If this story touched your heart - I know it definitely touched mine - please share it on Facebook so your friends and family can see it too!