To go to college in America from a third-world country is like winning a million dollars in a sweepstakes.
From the Philippines, distance was a problem, money was a big problem and visa restrictions were a big, big problem. But I had a dream—a dream to study at Ambassador College, a four-year, liberal arts, church-sponsored institution.
I was elated with my letter of acceptance from the college. Little did I know that in three months three nightmares—three humongous, pitch-black monsters—would threaten to snuff my dream from existence.
To enter the United States, I needed a visa. But I was told I had only a maximum of three chances to get one. Since the U.S. consulate was on another island, I had to leave early in the morning on the day before my interview to arrive by nightfall. Then, rising at 5 a.m., rushing to the consulate before 6, I found about a dozen people already ahead of me in line.
The curtains opened—and closed. After three hours of waiting and praying, a voice cracked: "Number 16 to window two, please." I was turned down. Twice more this same horror replayed before my eyes: 22 days later, and 11 days after that.
My family comforted me. Friends called. But my dream didn't want to die. Many nights I lay gazing at the wall, trying vainly to recapture and paint my dying dream in beautiful colors out of the cold, bleak darkness of rejection, despair and discouragement.
Torn between reality and possibility, reality was shouting in my ear, "Don't waste your time, kid. Ambassador College in America is unrealistic! Haven't I proven it to you three times already?" But possibility kept interrupting, "Quiet! With faith the impossible is possible. So go, Danny, give it one more shot!"
With nothing to lose, I faxed a letter of appeal to the consul general. Then I made a promise to God that if He allowed me to go, I would come back and serve Him in my home country.
Days passed without a word from the embassy. One Friday over breakfast, I told my parents that I had no choice but to temporarily shelve my dream. Suddenly the phone rang. The embassy secretary asked me when I could come for a special interview with the chief of the Non-Immigrant Visa Section. Stunned, I thought I was dreaming, but confident that she was serious, I responded, "Monday morning, at 9."
This time the curtains closed—and opened. I walked out of the embassy with my passport in hand, and the last page read: "United States of America, VISA." It was one of the happiest days of my life, and I couldn't stop thanking God for this great and underserved blessing! Please read the free booklet You Can Have Living Faith. It will help you understand the lesson I was learning.
Ten years ago I returned to my homeland from the United States. I have kept my promise, but I still marvel at how my dying dream became a living reality!
When the path to the right goal is blocked from seemingly all directions; when your dream transforms into an ugly nightmare; when you ask and don't receive; when you seek and don't find; when you knock, and the door doesn't open—when you try and try but don't succeed—persist. It's often the last key on the key ring that opens the door. Ask for God's help, and bounce back after every rejection!
Give it one more shot, before you bury your dream! VT