The first quarter of 2022 was filled with valleys and ordinary things that tested both my stamina and my strength.
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Quarterly Ministry Update
Hello, Friend!

"We are not made for the mountains, for sunrises, or for the other beautiful attractions in life - those are simply intended to be moments of inspiration. We are made for the valley and the ordinary things of life and that is where we have to prove our stamina and strength." -Oswald Chambers

The first quarter of 2022 was filled with valleys and ordinary things that tested both my stamina and my strength.

Maybe you can relate?

Life and ministry are often filled with unexpected challenges and unanticipated low points.

Because God desires us to be with Him forever, He often allows difficult circumstances into our earthly existence to help us see our need for Him.

If we want to be effective in our earthly and eternal pursuits, we must surrender our plans to God.

We can trust Him to fulfill His purpose in our lives (Ps 57:2, 138:8).

God, in His faithfulness, didn’t answer my fervent prayers to be rescued from the valley this time.

Instead, He showed me that valley living forces my eyes upward to Him.

When I look up, I see a God who is bigger than every trial I will face in this lifetime, and my heart is filled with peace (Jn 14:27).

Besides, I do not want people to remember me for the fleeting moments I have spent on the mountaintop.

I long to be known for the steadfast, Spirit-filled life I lived in the valley.

Don’t you?

"I lift my eyes toward the mountains. Where will my help come from? My help comes from the Lord, the Maker of heaven and earth. He will not allow your foot to slip; your Protector will not slumber." Psalm 121:1-3 HCSB

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

Just Released: Imago Dei Study
Sarah Koontz invites you to join us for "Imago Dei," a free 5-day study of biblical anthropology. In this brief study of human nature, we will explore the ways God is actively redeeming His creation and re-establishing His divine rule in the hearts of humankind. Visit our website to learn more & reserve your spot today!
Testimonials from our Discipleship Team Members
I love Living by Design's Bible studies. They are short enough to complete in a few minutes each day but in-depth enough to stir the heart. I support this ministry because of the free studies and Bibles given away to women all over the world. This helps those who have little or no resources have access to the Word of God. - Barbara from South Korea

I love Living by Design Ministries. The free Bible Studies are on point, Scripture-based studies that truly hit the heart with a biblical message. Each study has just enough paperwork, and I print them for studying over and over. I especially appreciate that these studies are written by a woman who is led by God. I choose to support this ministry because it takes funds to put out the otherwise free studies. I am glad to help in my small way. My favorite thing about being a donor is how painless it is to be a monthly contributor. And if a problem develops, the ministry is good to help via email in a very timely fashion. - Charles from Virginia

I choose to support Living by Design Ministries because I want to help more people have access to these Bible studies. I love that the studies can be done in about 15 minutes, or I can spend more time since there are always lots of links to relevant Bible verses. Sarah writes in a down-to-earth, easy-to-understand style that helps me understand. - Patti from Florida
We Need Your Help! Submit a Testimonial Today
Share Your Story
We are gearing up for our Spring Fundraiser, and nonprofit research shows that personal testimonials are crucial for successful fundraising. Has our ministry had a positive impact on your walk with Christ? Tell us about it! The more specific and genuine the testimonials, the more they’re likely to move people to participate in our programs or donate to our ministry.
Video Tour of our E-mail Delivery System
Click here to watch the video
In January of 2022, our e-mail delivery system stopped working properly. This unanticipated technical issue required about six weeks of Sarah's time to resolve properly.

In her February Ministry Moment (a monthly update video she sends to our Discipleship Team Members), Sarah shared a behind-the-scenes look at our e-mail delivery system and explained the changes she made to improve its performance. She also gave an updated timeline for this year's Bible study projects and discussed her current seminary class.

We thought you might enjoy the opportunity to view this video and learn more about the technology we use to deliver our Bible studies on-demand to inboxes worldwide. {Watch the 17-Minute Video}
A New Giving by Design Partnership
Our Giving by Design Program aims to invest in Bible literacy projects around the world. During the first quarter of 2022, our team chose to partner with the Billy Graham Association by making a $439 donation in support of their Rapid Response Team chaplains who are currently serving in Ukraine.

Our hearts hurt for the people of Ukraine, and we wanted to direct this quarter's Giving by Design funds toward an organization that is actively sharing the gospel message with the people of Ukraine. These chaplains are coming alongside families who are hurting and afraid and shining the light of Christ in a war zone of immeasurable suffering and loss. They’re meeting people in the middle of their pain, praying with them, crying with them, and listening to their struggles.

Here's an April 21 update from the Billy Gram Association on the outreach in Ukraine: A team of Billy Graham Rapid Response Team (BG-RRT) has already seen  31 people accept Christ in Lviv, Ukraine, as they offer hope and provide comfort and compassion to families who have been forced to flee their homes. The team of crisis-trained chaplains is serving alongside medical personnel with Samaritan’s Purse, a Christian disaster relief organization that is operating an Emergency Field Hospital and a triage clinic near a busy train station. {Read More}

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 prayerfully select the organizations that we get to partner with! - Sarah Koontz
Prayer Requests for Living by Design Ministries
✔ Pray for our Fundraising Efforts: During our Spring Fundraiser (May 10-31, 2022), we hope to engage 40 new recurring donors and an additional $500 per month in funding ($6000 per year) to support our growing ministry. Because God has called us to serve His Kingdom purposes by cultivating this free Bible study ministry, we must actively seek out people who are willing to stand in the gap and cover the cost for our Bible study participants. Pray that the Lord would lead people to give generously and bless them abundantly for their participation in this important work

✔ Pray for our Ministry Staff:
Please pray for our whole team as we recover from a tiring Bible study launch and begin to prepare for our Spring Fundraiser. Pray for protection from attacks of the enemy, health for families and loved ones, and endurance as we run the race God has called us to. Pray for Sarah Koontz as she continues to search for Christian professionals to assist her with certain aspects of the ministry. We've made some progress in this area but definitely haven't found the right people to meet every need. We are trusting Jehovah Jireh to provide.

✔ Pray for the Koontz Family: Continued prayers are requested for Sarah and her two daughters as they wrap up the homeschooling year and Sarah's spring seminary semester. Prayer is also requested for Sarah's husband, Ryan, as he is carrying a lot of extra responsibilities at work and hoping to fill some open positions on his team soon. This is such a busy season of life for them (raising two teenagers) and every day is filled with unexpected obstacles and unique challenges. Pray that they would have unity and wisdom as they seek to glorify God with their lives.
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.  
Delivering Free Bible Studies to
Inboxes Around the World.

© Living by Design Ministries, PO Box 1121, Rapid City, SD 57709, United States

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