11 Years After This Boy Sent A Shoebox Overseas, His Parents Were Alarmed By A Message From A Girl - worldtravelling

11 Years After This Boy Sent A Shoebox Overseas, His Parents Were Alarmed By A Message From A Girl


ADVERTISEMENT

In 2011, a woman in the Philippines messaged a young American man from across the globe. He’d never heard of her, yet she insisted that she knew who he was. What would unfold would soon gain the attention of the world…

Unbelievable Story


In 2000, Tyrel Wolfe was a cute and unsuspecting seven-year-old boy living in Idaho. He wanted to join Operation Christmas Child, a worldwide Samaritan’s Purse initiative that encourages people from around the world to create shoebox packages full of necessities and toys, to give to underprivileged children in faraway places.
Unbelievable Story

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

Scrambled To See What He Could Find


So young Wolfe excitedly looked for what he could find to place in the care package, he decided to place a photograph of himself inside his shoebox. He dropped the box off at church ready to be sent to a less fortunate child. Wolfe knew he had done a good deed, but had long forgotten about the shoebox…
Scrambled To See What He Could Find

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

Farm Boy


This generous little boy and his family, were by no means wealthy. Yet Tyrel was always taught the importance of giving back to the community and being charitable. The shoebox project was a special and unique way to make Christmas a special time for an under privileged child.
Farm Boy

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

Sent To The Unknown


Young Tyrel was not sure what would happen to the box, or who in the world it would be sent to. He was excited however, that someone far away would receive his gift and he hoped it would make their Christmas. If he could bring someone happiness during this time of year then he knew he was doing the right thing.
Sent To The Unknown

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

Hard Times


Growing up, Tyrel suffered from being bullied. He yearned for friends who accepted him and with whom he could confide in, someone to love him unconditionally. When the time came, he went to college and made some good friends, but he still felt that he never truly belonged.
Hard Times

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

Mysterious Caller


Time passed, and years later Wolfe discovered a friend request on Facebook from a woman in the Philippines named Joana Marchan. Wolfe dismissed it, thinking that it was a scam or a simple case of mistaken identity.
Mysterious Caller

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

Not What He Thought


Wolfe was curious when the mysterious woman added him again, he soon decided to accept the request. What happened next he could never have imagined. Marchan’s first message back was truly unexpected and left him utterly shocked.
Not What He Thought

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

Truly Taken Aback


Wolfe could hardly believe what she had written to him. The woman told Wolfe that she had a picture of him as a child – a picture she had once received in a shoebox from Operation Christmas Child. It all came flooding back…
Truly Taken Aback

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

Left Dumbfounded


The woman said she had tried to write him a letter to say thank you for the wonderful gift. But Wolfe’s parents were not so easily convinced by her story. In order to check if Marchan was indeed telling the truth, Wolfe asked her to describe the photograph she said she had received.
Left Dumbfounded

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

Could It Be A Catfish?


Marchan described the picture in detail, the image was of a young Wolfe in a cowboy outfit. Alas, it was the very same photo that he had placed in the shoebox. Wolfe and Marchan instantly connected and then spent the next several weeks getting to know each other during lengthy online conversations. While it was incredible that Marchan had managed to find her cowboy after so many years apart, what was even more unbelievable was how much the two had in common.
Could It Be A Catfish?

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

Unexpected Friendship But What Was Going On Here?


They both had a mutual love of Christian music, which they quickly bonded over and before they knew it an entire year had passed since they had become online pen pals. They had inevitably grown closer but no one would predict how the incredible story would unfold…
Unexpected Friendship But What Was Going On Here?

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

Needed To See For Himself


Spontaneously, Wolfe decided to book a flight to Manila to finally meet his faraway friend. He had managed to save up enough money and was excited to connect with his friend in person, even though he had never traveled anywhere alone before; “I knew I was taking a big risk,” he told People magazine in December 2014.
Needed To See For Himself

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

What Would Happen Next


As soon as Wolfe arrived, his nerves and feelings of anticipation seemed to pass. The moment he saw Marchan waiting for him at the airport, he  knew he had done the right thing by traveling across the world to meet her. “I was immediately attracted to her,” he told People. But did she feel the same way?
What Would Happen Next

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

What Did She Think?


Joana spoke about the first time she met Tyrel, “Once I saw his face, an amazing feeling came over me.” Tyrel was overcome with relief that his feelings were reciprocated. Tyrel recalls; “When I finally got there and saw her, I had to punch myself a couple times because I thought it was a dream.” Was this meant to be?
What Did She Think?

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

Whatever Would He Do Now?


Wolfe spent his time in the Philippines with Joana and her family. As the holiday progressed it soon became undeniable: Tyrel was falling in love. In the blink of an eye, it was time for Wolfe to head back to the U.S. Wolfe struggled to accept that he would go back to his life without Marchan, so Wolfe later returned to Manila to ask Marchan’s father for his daughter’s hand in marriage.
Whatever Would He Do Now?

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

Not As Happy As He Would Have Hoped


Fortunately, he said yes – but Wolfe’s mother was not so easily convinced. It seemed that she wanted the couple to give it some time before they committed their lives to one another, after all, how well did they truly know each other?. Despite her mother’s objections, it seems that nothing gets in the way of true love. Eventually Wolfe persuaded his father to come to Manila and meet his love and her family.
Not As Happy As He Would Have Hoped

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

Best Day Of His Life But More To Come


The couple got married at Wolfe’s parents’ ranch in October 2014, and the groom wore a traditional Filipino garment – known as a “barong” – for the wedding ceremony. In a touching tribute to how they were brought together, the couple asked wedding guests to each make a Christmas shoebox to gift the bride and groom.
Best Day Of His Life But More To Come

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

Dreams Do Come True


One of Wolfe’s close friends spoke out at the wedding saying: “He had a hard time a lot, but now it is amazing to see him so happy and to have found the woman of his dreams in such a special way, it is hard to believe, but gives us all hope that true love does exist”.
Dreams Do Come True

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

Past Coming Back To Life


As a honeymoon adventure, the happy pair drove the shoeboxes to North Carolina to personally deliver them to Samaritan’s Purse themselves. The newlyweds also decided to make shoeboxes for Operation Christmas Child every year. They loved the idea of paying tribute each year to the fateful shoebox that brought them together.
Past Coming Back To Life

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

Spreading The Christmas Love


In all of their shoeboxes, the couple also included a little note with details of their unique love story. “We  want to show that we care and want to share our love. We both feel so blessed and grateful that Operation Christmas Child brought us together.”
Spreading The Christmas Love

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

Back To Olden Days


The couple made this scrap book to remind them of what brought them together, to ensure they kept their love alive. The book even included all the poems and letters they wrote to each other when they were still mere pen pals.
Back To Olden Days

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

New Chapter


After the wedding, the couple settled down near to Wolfe’s parents ranch and have been relishing married life. Marchan had never been to the U.S. before, but now she has been able to travel the country with her husband. She soon fell in love with Tyrel’s home country but the move was not without its difficulties.
New Chapter

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

Will It Last?


“It was a big change and adjustment for me,” the newlywed told People magazine. “I was raised in the city and now I’m living in the country with much less people and more space, but it’s a beautiful place.” The next chapter in the couple’s remarkable story would change her life even more.
Will It Last?

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

Another Surprise


After three years of wedded bliss, Wolfe announced some very exciting news to the couple’s many Facebook followers in May 2017: the birth of their beautiful baby boy!
Another Surprise

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

Story Goes Viral


The new parents named their son Harlann Jun Wolfe. The world famous lovers have since received hundreds of messages of congratulations online. Their rare love story seems to have touched the hearts of so many. Their story caused such a stir, that it went viral and reached news channels worldwide. “The Christmas miracle”.
Story Goes Viral

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

All Because Of One Photo


Wolfe and Marchan managed to find each other with a stroke of fate. Who knew those two little kids would ultimately be soulmates. It really just goes to show that some things are meant to be. In this digital age, it is even more special that they found love in such an organic and special way.
All Because Of One Photo

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

Cemented Forever


The scrap book that they kept full of letters, pictures and heartfelt memories will forever commemorate their fairytale romance. It is a unique reminder of their incredible story, one that can be shared with future children and grandchildren.
Cemented Forever

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

Operation Christmas Child


If this story inspired you in some way to give back, we implore to contact your local shelter or orphanage, to offer your contribution to those who are in need.
Operation Christmas Child

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

Where Are They Now?


On her Facebook page recently, Joana wrote celebrating their 3 year Anniversary: “3 years down and our love has grown with a precious boy! Happy Anniversary Ty, thank you for doing this life with me as we figure out just how much the better in “for better or worse” really is when we’re in it together. I love you more than I can put into words.”
Where Are They Now?

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

Like Father Like Son


Ty recently posted this picture of him and his much-loved son, and confessed the love that he felt so strongly for him and his wife for giving him two gifts. He also mentioned their original love story again and how blessed he feels for that shoebox.
Like Father Like Son

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

The World Touched By This Story


This news channel covered the heart warming story.”Destiny packed in a shoe box”. It really did all start with one picture and one shoebox, and the rest is history.

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT