Includes ministry highlights, Giving by Design project updates, a financial snapshot, and prayer requests.
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Quarterly Ministry Update
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Five years ago, my husband and I started this ministry as an act of humble obedience to God's direction and call on our lives.

Although we did not know the path that God would lay out before us once the decision was made, we wholeheartedly believed that God would bless our obedience.

Obedience is a long walk in the same direction.
It never knows what terrain lies just around the bend—will it be a steep climb or a gentle descent? Yet the uncertainty doesn't deter the obedient one from moving forward a step at a time.

An obedient heart is sustained by hope, energized by promise, and revitalized by prayer. It knows the destination and is willing to put in the work necessary to reach the goal.

God honors our obedience (Jer 17:10), fuels our obedience (Phil 4:13), and demands our obedience (Jn 14:15)!

He welcomes our willingness to walk toward Him—even if that means walking away from everything safe and comfortable in this life.

The thing about long walks is that it’s impossible not to roam from time to time. We are easily distracted creatures who are always searching for an easier path than the one we are on.

Sometimes, obedience requires us to backtrack for a while. Other times, it leads us to a seemingly insurmountable obstacle and forces us to sit and ponder our options.

Obedient Christians are prepared to change course at any moment. Onlookers might call this wandering, but we know better.

Those who journey with Jesus are ready to “deny themselves, pick up their cross daily, and follow after Him” (Lk 9:23). Wherever He leads!

A lifestyle of obedience to God is a transient existence.

Although we have Divine assurance that obedience will bring us to our promised destination (Ps 33:1), we will never know the difficulties that we will encounter on the expedition (Jas 4:14).

Children of God are “led by the Spirit of God” (Rm 8:14). This is not something outsiders can see or fully understand!

Rich Mullins once said, “Closeness to God is not about feelings; it is about obedience.”

Although obedience brings us closer to God, it also requires us to lay our feelings at His feet (Mt 11:28-30).

Will we follow wherever He leads? Will we obey whatever He asks? No matter how we feel?

I’ve been pondering these questions as my path of obedience has become more grueling.

I still believe God’s way is the best way (1 Jn 4:16). I still believe the hard walk of obedience is worth it. And I still believe we are stronger together than we will ever be alone.

Thank you for journeying alongside me as I seek to glorify God through Living by Design Ministries.

I don’t take your friendship, support, and encouragement for granted!

No matter where this path leads, I will continue to follow Jesus Christ and walk in obedience to His Word.

May God bless and sustain you! May He draw you into His presence and reveal His love and His light to you. May He give you hope for the future and a hunger for His Word.

Sarah Koontz
President, Living by Design Ministries

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

Click to download the report card
Giving by Design Project Updates
During the month of December, we were able to fund two exciting Giving by Design Projects. These projects reflect our third and fourth quarter giving. We reserved the third quarter funds when we didn't know what God wanted us to do with them. Then, over the course of a few days, these two incredible opportunities presented themselves. We are so grateful to be able to partner with these incredible organizations.
First, we donated $500 to an organization called Faith Comes by Hearing during their year-end matching fund drive. We love that this organization freely provides Bible recordings to communities worldwide and equips local believers to host audio Bible listening programs. Click here to access their database of audio Bibles in 1740 different languages. I have shared this resource with some of our friends in Africa, and they were amazed to discover the Bible is freely available to listen to in their native tongue.
Just before Christmas, we had an exciting opportunity to bless a family serving Christ in Ukraine. Yaroslav (Slavik) Pyzh is the president of the Ukrainian Baptist Theological Seminary, and he took a brief holiday in the USA with his family. One of our supporters ensured they received a copy of our Advent Study and a $500 donation for Bibles (along with their gift of matching pajamas for the whole family). Here is a Christmas video update from Slavik that shines a light on the important work they are doing during the war.
Prayer Requests for Living by Design Ministries
Guest Writers: We will invite 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 our readers' needs, and we ask Him to guide and direct this process.

Sarah Koontz & Family: We are so grateful for everyone who covers our family in prayer. The spiritual battle we face daily is very real, and the attacks are ruthless. Please join us in praying for our marriage, finances, extended family, and beloved daughters. Ask God to fill our home with His presence and protect us from the schemes of the enemy. Ask Him to give us supernatural strength to overcome obstacles and live in victory as we seek to serve others with our gifts and talents. Pray specifically for Ryan that the Lord would bless the work of his hands and give Him the wisdom to lead our family well. For Anya, that God would fill her heart with faith and give her freedom from fear. For Nadia, that God would reveal His love to her and fill her mind with the beauty of His revelation and truth. Pray for Sarah, that God would give her health and endurance to complete the work of the calling He has placed upon her life.

Board of Directors: Our annual meeting is coming up. Please pray for our board as they work to finalize and approve our 2023 budget and make other weighty ministry decisions. As the ministry grows, so do our financial needs. Please pray that the Lord would continue to provide faithful monthly donors and generous one-time contributions to fund all our ministry programs.

Pray for Our Community: Please pray that God would continue to use our ministry to encourage and equip the Church to think and act biblically. Ask God for divine provision, guidance, and peace for every community member. Pray that every Bible study e-mail we send gets received by the people who signed up to receive it. And pray that God would work in a mighty way in our midst.
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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