Includes a personal note from Sarah Koontz, a financial snapshot, info about our new Bible study, and more!
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Quarterly Ministry Update
Hello, Friend.

My husband and I founded Living by Design Ministries six years ago—on December 22, 2017.

From the beginning, I knew I wanted to take a sabbatical during our seventh full year of ministry. I didn’t exactly know what this year of rest would look like, but I felt like it was a non-negotiable for me.

I have always viewed this ministry as God’s land (Lv 25:23). It is the space God has given me to cultivate, plant, and grow. As an overseer of this gift, it is my responsibility to protect the fertility and usefulness of this soil.

2024 will be a year of Sabbath rest for me and the land I’ve faithfully cultivated these past six years.

Here are some biblical truths that will guide and direct my decisions during this Sabbatical:

  • You may sow for six years, but there will be a Sabbath "of complete rest for the land in the seventh year" (Lv 25:3-4). I will not write any new content in 2024. However, our team will continue to send bi-weekly content to our readers (from our guest contributors and the archives).

  • "Whatever the land produces during the Sabbath year can be food for you" (Lv 25:6). During my sabbatical rest, I will focus on feeding my soul and nourishing my family life. Instead of cultivating spiritual fruit for others, I will nurture growth in my own life.

  • "Then the land will yield its fruit, so that you can eat, be satisfied, and live securely in the land" (Lv 25:19). In 2024, I will seek God’s direction for the next six years of ministry. I will consistently ask Him to make this a fruitful and secure land that satisfies many.

For the first time since we launched this ministry in 2017, I do not have a clear direction about what comes next. I just know that it’s time to rest and celebrate the good work God has done these past six years.

I trust Him with this land.

"I meditate on all You have done; I reflect on the work of Your hands. I spread out my hands to You; I am like parched land before You. Answer me quickly, Lord; my spirit fails. Don’t hide Your face from me…Let me experience Your faithful love in the morning, for I trust in You. Reveal to me the way I should go because I long for You." Psalm 143:5b-7a,8 HCSB

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
2023 Fall Fundraiser Information
Our Fall Fundraiser begins on November 13. To finish this year without a deficit, we seek to raise an additional $20,000 in support by December 5, 2023.

By the grace of God, we have secured $10,000 in matching gifts from faithful supporters of Living by Design Ministries. Every dollar donated during our Fall fundraiser will be DOUBLED (up to $1,000 per donor) until the matching funds are exhausted.

Will you prayerfully consider investing in this life-changing ministry during our Fall Fundraiser?

All year-end donations to Living by Design Ministries will go directly to covering the cost of delivering our free Bible studies to inboxes worldwide.

With your help, we can continue sharing the love of Jesus Christ with a world in need of the Word!
A Brand New Bible Study from Sarah Koontz
Journey to Humility is the sixteenth free Bible study Sarah Koontz has written for Living by Design Ministries. This Bible study details the people, places, and predicaments that shaped the Apostle Paul’s ministry. Each day, we will meet new characters in Paul’s story and explore the impact they had on his life.  
Feedback from Our Early Readers
Sarah has written another great study. I always enjoy her studies because they are thoughtful and theologically sound. It was interesting to go through Paul's journey with Jesus and see how the people around him impacted his ministry. We rarely pay attention to the people surrounding the Apostles or study the ways God used community to shape their lives. This study reminds us that God can use ordinary people in extraordinary ways. -Neely

I am thoroughly enjoying the Journey to Humility study. I love how Sarah writes in easy to understand and thought provoking ways. My favorite part is the application questions because they get me to stop and really think and pray about the answers. It is a good "grow in faith" exercise for me. I am very thankful for Living by Design Bible studies! -Pati

Journey to Humility unpacks the life of Paul and the behind-the-scenes pieces of his story we may overlook that were essential in God preparing him for ministry. This study provides a biblical lens to grow in humility and faith as we can glean from Paul's life and ministry. -Jenny

I appreciate how Sarah drew out details in Scripture that most people overlook. After completing this study, I have a more thorough understanding of who the apostle Paul was and the specific people and places that God used to shape his life. This study was also a great reminder that even though God allows hardship in our lives, He has a purpose for us. -Sandra

I love Sarah's insightful creativity. I especially appreciate the action points and questions of application included in every devotional. My prayers are that people will grasp and apply the sound doctrine and biblical teaching being provided through this Bible study. -Dave
Upcoming Giving by Design Project
We recently sent a gift of $500 to our ministry partners in Tanzania. Here is the information about how the funds will be used:

The women of the local church have organized a conference for widows that will be held in our church 15-19 November 2023. This conference is the first ever to be held in our area and will concern all widows regardless of their denomination. The leader of the women's union in the church wishes that the widows who will participate in the seminar will be given a gift of the Bible, because they will form thirty groups. Each group will have five women to encourage each other and learn the Scriptures led by the women of the local church after the conference. So I'm asking you for thirty small Bibles for raising those groups. - Pastor Sondus Sigalah
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