The first Christmas gift Joana Wolfe ever received from her husband was in 2000, when she was 8, he was 7 and they lived a world apart.
It was a gift box wrapped and filled with various items. Young Tyrel Wolfe, an Idahoan, sent the box to Joana in the Philippines through Operation Christmas, a program put on by Samaritan’s Purse, an international relief company.
Little did Tyrel and Joana know they were destined to be together.
According to The Blaze’s Billy Hallowell, Joana received the gift and sent a letter to thank Tyrel, only it never made its way to Idaho. In 2011, Joana, curious about what happened to that charitable boy, found Tyrel through Facebook and sent him a message, Hallowell reported.
“I still wanted to thank the person who gave me the box that had meant so much to me,” Joana said, according to The Blaze.
Joana and Tyrel started talking. Soon, he was flying to the Phillippines to woo Joana and gain the acceptance of her parents, The Blaze reported.
“Once I saw his face, an amazing feeling came over me,” Joana said, according to this viral news website. “I was so happy I cried.”
Soon, the two were looking for a visa to bring Joana to the United States, which they eventually received. One month ago, the two were married.
The couple, knowing how important the donation was to their lives, encouraged their wedding guests to make a donation or put together one of their own boxes to send to the Phillippines, The Blaze reported.
They also plan on their children doing the same in the future, Hallowell reported.
Tyrel and Joana’s story comes at a time when many question whether everything happens for a reason. According to a study published in the journal Cognition, both the religious and non-religious often believe their lives are pre-destined.
People who believe everything happens for a reason do so because it’s human nature to solve problems or make sense of coincidences, according to The New York Times’ Konika Banerjee and Paul Bloom, who analyzed the Cognition study.
“This tendency to see meaning in life events seems to reflect a more general aspect of human nature: our powerful drive to reason in psychological terms, to make sense of events and situations by appealing to goals, desires and intentions,” The Times reported.