Learning to worship God through skyscrapers

In college, Enya Barquia is learning to worship God through skyscrapers.

This came as a surprise. Enya’s family is deeply involved in worship ministry through music, each member playing at least one instrument. When they moved from the Philippines to New York City, her family traveled from church to church, blessing others with their musical gifts.

Yet when Enya applied for university, she pursued another set of passions—visual arts and engineering. In 2016, she was accepted into Philadelphia University’s architecture program. And though she had never visited the campus or even been to Philadelphia, she decided to enroll. 

“Something in me felt that this was the path that God had for me,” she says, “regardless of how confusing it was at first.”

In Philadelphia, Enya connected with CCO staff members Esther Chiang and Evan Gourley. She and Esther began meeting regularly, reading books together and talking about identity in Christ. One of these books was John Mark Comer’s Garden City, which lays out a biblical vision for our role in God’s continuing work of creation. 

These conversations energized Enya’s passion for architecture.

“Architecture exists because when God created the earth and the universe, it wasn’t merely a product, but rather, a project,” she says.

“I see God as the head designer. He is calling us to be partners in a project to cultivate and have dominion over the earth until He comes again.”

Enya hopes to build spaces that promote healthy relationships and vibrant communities, similar to what she’s experienced at college. Enya marvels at how her campus fellowship has quickly grown in numbers—from 10 to 30 regular attendees in a semester—and depth of relationship. 

“We’ve learned that community means more than just asking ‘How are you?’ out of habit, but asking with intention and being with the other person no matter how they answer,” Enya says. “Having such a strong community on campus has allowed me to reach out when I need help, and through their endless prayers, I have been able excel in architecture, grow in my faith, and develop as a leader.”

For Enya, the pieces continue to come together. Everything in my story builds off of each other somehow,” she says. Together with Evan, she leads worship at church and campus gatherings. In class, she studies so she will be better equipped to partner with the great Designer. 

“When I look at skyscrapers, I’m in awe of the good that God has created,” Enya says. “I pray that I can be used for the glory of Christ’s kingdom.”