Includes ministry highlights, testimonials, a financial snapshot, and prayer requests.
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Quarterly Ministry Update
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I can hardly believe that we are entering our fifth year as a non-profit ministry.

So much has changed since my husband and I made the big decision to file for our 501(c)3 status in December of 2017. And so much has remained the same!

When we first made the big announcement, I penned these words, "When people ask, "Why a Non-Profit?", my answer is simple: Because I can't do it alone anymore. Creating the non-profit has given me so much more than the ability to raise necessary funds. It's given me a team of people who are committed to serving alongside me, donating their time and talents to help me feed God's sheep."

I am so grateful that God has given us the strength to "stay the course" over the past five years, and I am so blessed to know that I do not have to carry the weight of this ministry on my own shoulders.

Being in full-time ministry has taught me so much about my own limitations and the limitless power of Almighty God to provide for His work and His people.

The fourth quarter of 2021 was filled with unique opportunities to test my dependency on God in fresh new ways.

In October, my entire family was sick with COVID19 during the weeks surrounding our Storyteller study launch. I became symptomatic just 24 hours after I edited and scheduled the final Storyteller study e-mail (nearly two full weeks after my youngest daughter developed symptoms). Even so, God used our fall Bible study to bless and encourage more than 1,500 members of our community.

In November, I organized and executed our Fall Fundraiser in between naps and breathing treatments for my COVID19 symptoms. Even though I had to scale back our original fundraiser plans, God (and our generous community) still exceeded our expectations and surpassed our $26,000 fundraiser goal.

In December, I was emotionally, physically, and spiritually exhausted. Just getting out of bed every day was difficult, and I knew that I was standing on the edge of a cliff and in need of some serious help. Thankfully, I am not alone in ministry, and God used my family, godly mentors, and connections at Dallas Seminary to help replenish my depleted storehouses.

I must confess that there were many moments in these past months when I questioned my ability to carry on in ministry. I wondered if I would be able to overcome the obstacles in front of me without depleting myself completely.

But God met me in that place of wonder and weakness and gave me the wisdom I need to continue this work. Every single day, I cling to the truth of 2 Corinthians 12:9-10:

"But He said to me, 'My grace is sufficient for you, for power is perfected in weakness.' Therefore, I will most gladly boast all the more about my weaknesses, so that Christ's power may reside in me. So I take pleasure in weaknesses, insults, catastrophes, persecutions, and in pressures, because of Christ. For when I am weak, then I am strong."

In this quarterly newsletter, I look forward to sharing a financial snapshot, uplifting reader testimonials, encouraging ministry highlights, and prayer requests with you.

Sarah Koontz
President, Living by Design Ministries

P.S. If you have any questions or want more information on any of the topics discussed in this quarterly update, please don't hesitate to contact our team at

Testimonials & Totals from our Fall Fundraiser
Being a pastor's wife in a foreign country makes it difficult for me to find relevant studies and challenges in private devotionals. Thank you for meeting my needs. I feel I have a concerned friend right in my inbox!! - Joyce

Living By Design Ministries has been a blessing to me with free Bible studies as well as encouragement and biblical wisdom from blog posts, Saturday SOULfood emails, etc. I'm praying for this ministry to continue to flourish and grow! - Marilee

I have been incredibly blessed and encouraged by this ministry and I pray that our great God will continue to sustain it, guide it, and protect it. Thank you for being a faithful and obedient servant, well done!! - Dianna
I really love visiting the blog and reading Sarah's writing because I trust her and I feel that God is working through her to reach women from all walks of life. I know that her Bible Studies will be accurate and will be true to the Word of God. - Betty

I believe the need for quality, theologically-sound Bible study material geared toward women is a must. I am so grateful for your ministry and hope this financial gift assists you in your work. - Carmen

Living by Design has transformed my life! The Bible Studies have increased My Biblical knowledge and this, in turn, has not only helped me but also others. Thank you Sarah for obeying the Lord and creating these amazing Bible studies and all accompanying content. - Melissa
New Giving by Design Partnership with Love INC
Our Giving by Design Program aims to invest in Bible literacy projects around the world. I have been searching for a local Giving by Design project since we launched the program in 2019. Although it's fun to donate Bibles to our partner church in Tanzania or sex-trafficking survivors in Texas, there's something biblical about investing in your local community.

In the fourth quarter of 2021, we donated 17 beautiful study Bibles and 17 Living by Design tote bags to a Black Hills Area ministry called Love INC (or Love in the Name of Christ). These Bibles will be given to new Christians, or renewed Christians, when they graduate from one of the many Life INC programs offered in local churches around the Rapid City, SD area.

Love INC exists to mobilize local churches to transform lives and communities In the Name of Christ. They have a very fruitful and active ministry in our city, and their leadership team is filled with faithful servants of our Lord Jesus Christ. When I dropped off the Bibles, I toured their new facility and met their new Life INC director, Aaron Van Gelder. I am confident that these Bibles will be distributed to the program participants who need them most. I am excited to hear how God uses our donation to extend the blessings and benefits of this vital ministry.

Thank you to all the faithful monthly donors on our Discipleship Team for making this program possible. It is one of my greatest joys to gift Bibles to other ministries and organizations! - Sarah Koontz
Prayer Requests for Living by Design Ministries
Words of Gratitude: As we look forward to a new ministry year, we want everyone involved to know how much we appreciate your prayers, donations, participation, and support. We are asking God to continue to use this ministry to draw people close to His heart. We depend on your prayers and consider it a privilege to partner with you in this vital work. To God be the glory! Amen.

Pray for our Leadership Team: Please pray for our board as they work to finalize and approve our 2022 budget and make other weighty ministry decisions. Pray for our Pastoral Council Members, as they play such an essential role in this ministry and in their own personal ministries as well. Pray for all our donors that the Lord would continue to lead them to give generously to this ministry and would bless them abundantly for their faithfulness.

Pray for Spring Study: Sarah Koontz will begin research for Part 2 of the Storyteller Study this month. Please pray a hedge of protection over her family, as they always experience increased spiritual attacks when she is writing a study. Also, pray for Sarah's health, as sitting at the computer and writing takes a toll on her body (specifically neck and back pain).

Pray for Our Community: Please continue to pray for our community. There are so many unspoken needs, so many hurting hearts, so many women longing for a more intimate relationship with Jesus. Pray that God would continue to lead people to our website and free Bible study resources and that He would give our whole ministry team a heart to serve all who cross over our virtual threshold. Blessings to you!
All Support Team members receive quarterly ministry updates, info about upcoming Bible studies, volunteer and fundraiser information. We also have a private Facebook group just for you. This is a place where we can connect with the individuals within our support community and share ministry updates and requests in a more timely, personal manner.  
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© Living by Design Ministries, PO Box 1121, Rapid City, SD 57709, United States

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