Includes ministry highlights, testimonials, a financial snapshot, and prayer requests.
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Quarterly Ministry Update
Dear Friend,

I can hardly believe that our second full year as a non-profit ministry is in the books.

In the past twenty-four months, we have seen God's mighty hand direct, protect, and provide for this free Bible study ministry.

I am profoundly grateful for the people who God has raised up to partner with us in this work.

The only reason we are able to provide such high-quality free resources is because of our committed donors, and our team considers it a privilege to serve alongside you for God's glory. 

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

But first, I'd like to share a brief message from my heart to yours.

The textbook for my current seminary course is entitled "An Invitation to Educational Ministry: Foundations of Transformative Christian Education."

This hefty book is packed with biblical wisdom from experienced educators, but my favorite nugget of truth so far is this:

"Those who MAKE disciples must BE disciples first. Disciple-making involves so much more than proper instruction. (You must) imagine yourself as Jesus' living visual for others."

As we are primarily a discipleship ministry meaning we exist to edify and equip the church I take this challenge to live as a disciple quite seriously.

For, if I cannot learn how to deny myself, take up my cross, and follow Jesus (Mt 16:24), my testimony will never inspire similar actions in the lives of others.

How does one live as a disciple of Christ in the twenty-first century?


As disciples of Christ, we must submit ourselves to His Word, commit ourselves to His service, and sacrifice our will upon the altar of His will.

This past quarter of ministry work demanded the "Three S's" from me at unprecedented levels. As a result, my faith and dependence upon God grew.

At the core of my being, I believe that fruitful Bible study is about so much more than just learning the truth.

It's about living the truth we've learned!

If we are unwilling to respond to God's Word with humble obedience, we are missing the purpose of Bible study entirely.

As disciples and disciple-makers, we can't just teach the truth, we must learn to live the truth.

This is the only way for our earthly stories to testify
to the transformative power of God's eternal truth.

I hope and pray you will join me on this journey to submission, service, and sacrifice.

As we embrace a lifestyle of obedience, and teach others to do the same, we will experience the joy of our salvation in our everyday lives.

What a joy it is to serve the Lord with everything that we are, everything that we have, and everything we ever hope to be!

"Then Jesus came to them and said, 'All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.'" Matthew 28:18-20 HCSB (emphasis mine)

Sarah Koontz
President, Living by Design Ministries

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

Giving by Design Project Liberia Update
We are excited to announce that our Giving by Design project in Liberia was a success! Our ministry partners at Bridges of Hope West Africa sent a team from our hometown of Rapid City, SD and they hand-delivered 18 study Bibles donated by our Discipleship Team to the school teachers at Hope Academy in Liberia.

The Bibles are going to be key to transforming the lives of the teachers spiritually, intellectually, and educationally. They will help the teachers to further their own understanding of Scripture and be used to teach the students during the school day.

Here is a testimonial from a teacher who received one of the donated Bibles:

I am so grateful for the precious gift which is the Holy Bible that you sent to us at HOPE. This is a gift that surpasses all gifts that anyone could give. I appreciate this valuable gift and pray that the Holy Spirit be with us as we go through His words. May God Almighty richly bless you in Jesus' name. Amen.
-Wesley, a teacher at HOPE

Prayer Requests for Living by Design Ministries
DWELL360 Study & Participants: Nearly two-thousand members of our free Bible study community have committed to participate in our DWELL360 study this year. There is nothing more worthwhile than carving out time to daily dwell on God's Word, and we are asking our prayer community to cover our DWELL360 Study participants in consistent prayer. Pray that study e-mails land in inboxes and are seen (and opened) by all, pray that each participant maintains their commitment to daily Bible study throughout the year, and pray for spiritual growth and freedom to be experienced by all. Praise Report: Sarah Koontz has finished drafting the full study and it is currently being reviewed by our pastoral council.

Clear Direction for 2020: Please pray for our board of directors and leadership team as we enter a new year of ministry together. We are seeking the Lord for wisdom in several areas of ministry and are trusting Him to continue to guide and direct us for His glory. Pray that every member of our team would be refreshed, renewed, and revitalized as we continue to work together in 2020.

Guest Submissions: We will be inviting guest writers to submit articles for consideration from February 1-15. We will then be reading through the articles and prayerfully considering which ones to publish on the Living by Design blog. Please ask God to help our team spread the word about this opportunity and lead the right people to write and submit articles. God is the only One who intimately knows the needs of our readers, and we are asking Him to guide and direct this process.

Upcoming Projects: Sarah Koontz is working with a few talented creative partners to revitalize and update our Psalm 119 study for a re-release in 2020. We will be reformatting the study, adding new digital gifts, a going deeper guide, and an audio version to this study. Our Psalm 119 study has already reached more than 6,500 readers and we are hoping this update will encourage many more to study this beautiful passage of Scripture. Sarah is also beginning the research phase of a study of Philippians set to release during the second half of this year. Pray for wisdom, health, direction, and endurance for our whole team!
All Support Team members receive quarterly ministry updates, info about Bible Study Launch Team opportunities, 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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