Yay Sisters: Rowena Sootoo of BunjenjenDesigns in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
Friends, I’m so happy to be able to introduce Rowena of BunjenjenDesigns in Malaysia.
She started her design studio during the pandemic in a season where God put on her heart to start drawing (& her 3 year old son came up with the catchy name!).
“My purpose for BunjenjenDesigns is to be like Barnabas; to encourage fellow Christians in their faith through bible verses and scripture artworks. I want to reach out and share God’s message of grace, about His goodness and faithfulness to others.”
Read on to learn more about her journey, our giveaway (closes 5 May 2021), and a special discount code for Yay readers :)
Name: Rowena Sootoo
Location: Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
Welcome! Please could you tell us about yourself and @bunjenjendesigns?
Firstly, a big thank you for inviting me to share my personal journey with God. I guess I’m a woman that has many labels. I’m an entrepreneur, a care group leader at my local church, a mom, a wife and a daughter of God. In the past recent months with the lockdown in Malaysia, I also became a teacher to my son (since schools were all closed)!
I was born in Singapore, and lived there until my twenties where I moved to Melbourne, Australia for my studies. That was a turning point in my life. It was there, where I was brought to church for the first time by my cousin (who has living in there). At church service that Sunday, I came to know Jesus as my Lord and Saviour. Since that year, my entire family was saved through that first encounter with Him. It was also there I met my husband and we started dating. What’s interesting is that we started in a long distance relationship for over 4 years before I finally married and moved to Malaysia to start a family there.
BunjenjenDesigns was launched in the midst of the pandemic in May 2020. The name was actually something my 3 year old son came up with during dinner in 2019 when God put it in my heart to start drawing. The name was catchy and just stuck to me and I decided to go ahead with it. My purpose for BunjenjenDesigns is to be like a Barnabas; to encourage fellow Christians in their faith through bible verses and scripture artworks. Through the social media platform, I wanted to reach out and share God’s message of grace, about the His goodness and faithfulness to others.
I never had the natural talent to draw or paint! But God put it in my heart and I obeyed and just started in faith. It’s now something I really enjoy doing since then and during my personal time. I believe God made us visual beings, and that’s where scripture artworks come in, as they are a visual reminder of God’s promises and goodness we can meditate on.
This is the main scripture that spoke to me:
Write them on the doorframes of your houses and on your gates. (Deuteronomy 6:9)
Maybe that is why, from scriptures above, we are called to write them on the doorframes and gates of our houses. For us to be a constantly reminded of His scripture promises and love for us, whenever we go in and out of our house.
Have you ever struggled with identity? How did God lead you to his truth?
Through this journey of launching BunjenjenDesigns, there are many times when I felt unqualified, unequipped and doubted myself along the way. I’m not a pastor nor am I an artist and there are so many other Christian artists better than me etc. I felt unqualified to share my scripture artworks. I was never professionally trained or born with a natural talent for art.
This journey that God is leading me through, from the stepping out in faith to launch into the deep, to the uncomfortable stretching of my faith, my walk with God has got so much closer, I have a much deeper understand and revelation of His love and goodness. In fact, most of my scripture artworks are done based on personal revelations from my daily devotions, my struggles and the answers from God.
I’m so glad our Abba Father is very patient with me. He slowly reveals the scriptures to me, at the times when I feel frustrated, when I am lost. He reminds me repeatedly of His goodness, His promises, to walk by faith and not by sight, to stand firm in His word.
I run back to this scripture whenever I feel lost and discouraged:
“Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid and terrified, for the Lord your God goes with you; He will never leave you nor forsake you” (Deuteronomy 31:6)
What does celebrating your God-given design mean to you?
To me, it means to celebrate my own uniqueness, my own ‘character bent’, my journey with God, and the talents He has given me. I have to learn to stop comparing myself with others and not focus on achievements but instead on what He has called me to do through BunjenjenDesigns.
What has God shown you about your God-given design through @bunjenjendesigns?
I hold this verse dear to my heart, and recite it often as a reminder:
“I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made, your works are wonderful, I know that full well… your eyes saw my unformed body. All the days ordained for me, were written in your book before one of them came to be” (Psalm 139:14 & 16)
I have an artwork inspired by that very scripture. It is a reminder that God has a purpose for me and that I am wonderfully made in His eyes. So I have to stop comparing with others, but to let God mold me in my journey with Him, that through my journey I may glorify and testify of His goodness to others.
I have learnt that if we were to let go and let God, God can work in us. God has helped me improve my drawings from when I first started, giving me the inspirations for drawing and creating content. It’s such a joy to know He can flow in me, when I relinquish the ‘self’ control and let Him use me as His vessel; the ideas just flow!
How would you encourage someone who is struggling to embrace their God-given design and live out their God-given calling?
Firstly, know that you are not a mistake:
“I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made, your works are wonderful.” (Psalm 139:14)
Know that you are wonderfully created, and not flawed. Know that God has a unique planning and for calling for you, so stop comparing with another’s journey.
Secondly, It is never too late. Like the story of Jonah, even though Jonah tried to run away from his calling-which is to go to Nineveh to preach repentance. God is truly a God of 2nd/ 3rd chances. After Jonah came back to God, God called him again. In the same way, if you felt like it’s too late or maybe you’ve already run away from God’s calling for you, just come back to our Abba Father. It is never too late! God is a God of 2nd/ 3rd chances! I believe He will keep waiting just like in the story of the prodigal son in the Bible.
Thirdly, do not be afraid to step out in faith. Deuteronomy 31:6 “Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid and terrified, for the Lord your God goes with you; He will never leave you nor forsake you”. Honestly stepping out in faith in the unknown darkness can be frightening. But God, He knows how we would feel to take the first step of faith, and that as you step out in obedience. You are not alone, He is with you, He will surely guide your steps every step of the way.
Thank you for sharing your testimony! Are you open to receiving any follow-up questions? How can we contact you?
Yes, most definitely. Thank you for giving me the opportunity to share!
You can find me at FB and Instagram: @bunjenjendesigns and I can be reached personally there. You can also contact me via my website.
Use YAYPROJECT15 for 15% of your first purchase on www.bunjenjendesigns.com! Valid from 26 April till 31 May 2021.
Giveaway (May 2021)
As you can see above, Rowena designs beautiful t-shirts and artworks. We’ll be picking two winners: one will win a t-shirt of their choice, one will win a 12x12 inch art print of their choice.
[ H O W T O E N T E R ON I N S T A G R A M]
*Follow @bunjenjendesigns @the.yay.project & @yaypodcast
*Like & save this post
*Tag a friend in the comments (1 comment per entry – enter as many times as you’d like!)
*For 10 bonus entries, visit @bunjenjendesigns & share the design you’d like to win in Stories (don’t forget to tag us! ☺️)
Giveaway will end at midnight GMT on 5 May 2021. Winner will be chosen at random and announced in this caption & stories. 🌸
Note: This giveaway is not sponsored, endorsed or associated with Instagram.