by Evangelist Donna Schambach
When a general of the faith like R.W. Schambach is called to his reward, there is always a lot of speculation and talk of “mantles.” It was no different in my circles when Dad left this earth.
I know all about speculation; it is birthed out of curiosity and wonder. How in the world could anyone succeed a giant like Brother Schambach? After all, his legacy was that of a super-hero…all the peoples touched; all the cities claimed for Christ; and, of course, all the broken hearts saved, delivered and mended by the power and compassion of Jesus Himself! He would never have taken credit…but the way God used him was astounding. No one could fill those shoes.
That speculation, or more truthfully, fear, came knocking at my doorstep the day after Dad passed. It was my responsibility to re-do the opens and closes for our February television program—a job usually done with him. When I left the studio that day it seemed the whole world rested on my shoulders. I drove to the outside door of his office and parked; but, I was paralyzed by the weightiness. There would be no work that day.
From my heart came the cry, “God, I just cannot carry this!”
Over the next few days, the precious Holy Spirit dealt with this cry of my heart. He let me know in no uncertain terms that I was not meant to carry my father’s load. The Holy Spirit Himself had designed my very own mantle, tailored perfectly for the call, gifts and talents He created within me. God sent me to the Book of Joshua. He asked me if I remembered what He told Joshua: “Moses, My servant, is dead.”
The next instructions God gave Joshua had to do with going forward into territory that Moses never entered. God did not tell Joshua to go back and pick up Moses’ staff. That had worked for Moses, but God spoke to Joshua about using his feet. . . and his faith. . . and his absolute obedience to every command God would give him.
God reminded me about David, who felt compelled to fight the giant Goliath when the rest of Israel’s hosts were cowering in the fox holes. The king tried to force David to wear his own armor for protection; but, the armor didn’t fit. . . it wasn’t proven by David. . .David had his own relationship with God and he knew what the anointing was and how it operated in his life. God impressed upon me that I didn’t have to wear my dad’s armor, because it wasn’t made for me. I simply had to walk in the anointing that I knew so well, and He would do the rest.
Everyone knows that my precious Papa was a man of faith, determination and perseverance. They knew it by his message; but, I knew it by his life. No one knew the enormous pressures he faced on a daily basis—pressures from family, physical challenges and financial concerns. At age 85, in Denver, Colorado, his grandson had to practically carry him to the platform so he could read his last sermon. That night, because he persevered, 500 people came to know Jesus as Savior.
And, the week he left this earth, he left giving altar calls for 2 hours at a time, in his sleep. He left singing for hours on end, “I’m running, trying to make a hundred, 99 and ½ won’t do!” He finished his course with a song. . .and God is yet honoring his investment in souls over the past 65 years.
Today, Schambach Ministries continues. Yes, there are still challenges. . .but, as my dad always quipped, “Welcome to the ministry!” I just sit back and wonder at the goodness and faithfulness of God.
My brothers and I have marveled at the outpouring of love and incredible testimonies that are the direct result of the yielded lives of my dad and mother. Everywhere I minister, I hear friends, partners and long-time acquaintances of Mom and Dad, encouraging me to keep walking in the call and legacy, affirming the spiritual DNA they recognize as seed of my parents.
This year, a 20-year-old vision of discipling the nations has sprung to life: already this year I have re-connected with a ministry family in The Netherlands who, after having me minister in their church in The Hague, invited me to join them in Pakistan for an open-air crusade and leaders’ training; in March I witnessed God adding over 2000 souls to the Kingdom in one day at our impromptu meeting in Costa Rica; and I am headed to the Amazon of Peru in just days to minister to over 800 pastors who will canoe up the great river for an impartation of the Holy Spirit. In addition, God is re-connecting me with the territories in the Northeast where my dad and I have labored together. It is so powerful and comforting to see a true appreciation for this spiritual legacy, with many inner-city pastors desiring to partner with us.
Personally, there has been another milestone in my life; one that is truly a work of God’s grace in me. It has been a challenge that I have dealt with my entire life and never conquered. And, in this year of my dad’s home-going, it is nothing short of a miracle. On Independence Day of 2012, God enabled me to achieve a goal I didn’t think was possible for me. I discovered I had lost over 100 lbs. in 16 months! The sheer joy of knowing my parents were cheering me on; the relief that I was no longer ashamed of the way I looked; and, the ability to preach and lay hands on people without limitation, have been catalysts for a new determination in me to carry this ministry forward in the power of the Holy Ghost, as God enables me.
My life and ministry are a living testimony that in death, transition, challenge and obstacles, we do not have to ever fear. Yes, as Jesus said, in this world we will have tribulation; but we can always be of good cheer—He has overcome the world! And, my soul is a witness, He does all things, so very well.