My Chains Are Gone (Selbert Astrera of Brgy. Umiray, Dingalan, Aurora)

 

Selbert Astrera is a tough man but with a tender heart for people especially those who are in need. Being raised by her Christian mother, he was a regular Sunday school attendee when he was a child. He had his first encounter with NGO missionaries when a calamity hit their hometown of Umiray, Aurora Province (2004). He has been an active youth and joined Operation Compassion since then. Through spiritual guidance of this NGO, he received Jesus Christ as his Savior. Since then he actively participated in different community organization such as ACCORD, Food Facility, and also helped the moral recovery of barangay officials through PNP-MOST with their pastor in Wesleyan Church by educating the LGU barangay level on moral transformation.

His passion is to serve people just like his parents do. He ran for public office as a Brgy. Councilor and won the first try. God granted his heart’s desire to serve the people. He stood on his own conviction and most of the time hated by his own people and been called as an opposition. But this was also the time that he was led astray away from the Lord. He thought he could serve effectively but the lust of the eyes, flesh, and the way of the world pulled him down.

Selbert volunteering with MAP nurses

Even before entering politics, he came to know MAP. For a certain time, MAP and LGU in Umiray have been partners in health. He actively volunteered with MAP even after finishing his term. His relationship with Jesus was at stake but by the grace of God, his spiritual life grew through MAP’s bible study, prayer meeting and Sunday service facilitated by MAP Nurses (including Dahlia). Jesus freed him from the chains of the world.

The gracious Father led him back to the cross and he decided not to enter politics anymore. God healed his heart and directed it to the giver of peace and love. By the help of Pastor Ray Calupig, his salvation was reassured when he was asked if at this very moment he dies, where his spirit will go. He didn’t know where. So pastor Ray shared the gospel and explained the true meaning of repentance, assurance of salvation, and the Lordship of Jesus Christ in his life.

with his wife Dahlia Eduarte

This was also the time he decided to serve the Lord through MAP with his fiancè (now his wife). That decision of accepting Jesus Christ as personal Lord and savior was followed by completing Kairos course. By God’s grace, his eyes were opened on the heartbeat of God-missions. He was inspired and his calling was confirmed that he will ‘go’. He married Dahlia and together they serve the Lord as ‘goers’. They are now serving the Lord through MAP and been assigned in Aguinaldo, Ifugao.

Selbert saw the “big picture” when he attended Kairos Course

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