On the 3rd month of pregnancy, Noemi got infected with chicken pox. By the time she was cured, the baby in her womb didn’t have life anymore. She was brought to the hospital where she labored to bring the lifeless baby out.
The labor was painful, according to Noemi. This happened on Holy Week when Tim, being a pastor, was swamped with commitments he couldn’t cancel at the last minute.
It wasn’t easy to know so many Bible verses in the head, while their hearts were conflicted with emotions of loss. But Tim and Noemi chose to consider their first pregnancy as a faith-building event in their marriage. It was just the two of them since their families were abroad, so they turned to each other for emotional support. Even if their hearts were saddened, they firmly held fast to the Lord’s promise to them.
The Year of the Lord’s Favor
In 1996, Tim and Noemi spent their 7th anniversary quite differently. They found out they were pregnant again! Due to the first pregnancy ending in a miscarriage, the couple decided to steer clear from stressors. Tim momentarily removed Noemi from ministry duties and carefully instructed their friends to avoid ministry talk whenever they visited. They handled the whole pregnancy with utmost caution and care.
On the 6th month of their pregnancy, Tim and Noemi went to a sonographer to check on the baby’s gender. In the ultrasound room, the sonographer announced that they were having a girl. The couple exchanged knowing glances. They didn’t believe the baby’s gender because they were certain that the Lord promised them a son!
Noemi spent her days at home meditating on Psalm 91. Even as they progressed in the pregnancy, doubt, fear, and worry still filled her mind from time to time. One afternoon, when these doubts, fear, and worry became overwhelming, she heard an audible voice that said, “Be still and know that I am God.” Immediately, a wave of peace came over her. Every doubt, every fear, every worry vanished.
A few days before delivery, they had another ultrasound as part of Noemi’s routine check-up. The same sonographer who checked up on them announced this time that they were having a boy. So on August 28, 1996, a bouncing baby boy was born to Tim and Noemi.
He was named II Timothy Salegumba and was given the nickname, “Seven.” He is Seven because Tim and Noemi waited seven years for the Lord’s promise to come to pass, and because seven means spiritual perfection. This was indeed the perfect time for the Lord to give them a son! Also, Timothy is a seven-lettered name. None of these seven-related trivia were planned; Tim and Noemi knew that the Lord had given them a promise, and that He orchestrated for these details to happen.
Meeting their son for the first time, Tim and Noemi beamed with joy. The Lord indeed fulfilled His promise to them. In their arms they held their son, the Lord’s promise in fruition.
The Lord provided for Seven day in and day out, just as Tim had asked Him to do. In every season of Seven’s life— from his infancy to his college years, the Lord never failed to carry him and sustain him.
Today, Pastor Tim and Noemi Salegumba serve as ministers in True Faith in Christ Ministries Noveleta, Cavite, together with their son, Seven, who just graduated from college.
“May pangako ang Lord.” (“The Lord made a promise.”)
The Lord has given a promise to each of us, whether it be a promise of salvation for loved ones, a promise of an offspring, a promise of a spouse, a promise of restoration, a promise of healing… whatever the Lord’s promise is to us, it is there.
And we wait, holding fast to Him and His promise.