Music has always been an important aspect of Laura’s life. She immersed herself in it from a very early age and loved listening to artists such as Josh Groban, Charlotte Church, Andrea Bocelli and Sarah Brightman. Singing along with their songs became one of her favorite things to do. However, singing in public was her least favorite thing and she promised herself it was something she would never do. Her first voice recital after being unwillingly enrolled in voice lessons, was the most terrifying event of her life up to that point. The second was not much better. In spite of the challenges, her stage fright became less paralyzing as time went on. Laura began to love singing and her dream was to follow in the footsteps of her musical role models and pursue a career in the music industry. God had another plan. His plan has turned out to be far better than anything Laura could have imagined.
In 2007, Laura began attending Fountainview Academy, a boarding school located in the beautiful mountains of British Columbia, Canada. This is where her vocal training expanded. Fountainview has a great music program and a large orchestra and choir that tour regularly. While attending, she was able to participate in several DVD projects produced by Fountainview which have now spread worldwide. These include, Go Tell It On the Mountain, Steps to Christ In Song, Joy to the World, O Come All Ye Faithful, and Help In Daily Living. Being a part of this music program helped Laura to realize the satisfaction that comes from singing the type of music that can really touch and change a person’s life for eternity.
While at Fountainview Academy, God taught Laura some very valuable lessons that she never imagined would be used as preparation for a future in music ministry.
onLaura relates, “During my third year at school I was given two solos in the concert for our upcoming 2 1/2 week Christmas tour. I was extremely excited and could not wait to get started! When the first night arrived, I sat on the front row, feeling confident and eagerly waiting for the concert to begin. I looked at the clock … 10 minutes to go. Suddenly, with no warning and no reason, my voice simply disappeared! It was completely gone! I don’t know how to express the level of panic I felt in that moment. I tried to let people know, but to no avail. While I was still attempting to come up with a backup plan, the concert began. I found myself on the stage as the orchestra began to play. My face was pale and I could feel my heart pounding in my chest. My hands were shaking and I was sure that any chance of a singing career I may of had was over.
Thankfully, by God’s grace, the idea of prayer flashed into my mind and I began to pray desperately that God would restore my voice so I could sing! I opened my mouth, expecting the worst, but as I made an effort to sing suddenly my voice came back, full and strong, as if nothing had happened!
The following evening, I was again sitting and waiting for the concert to begin. Once again I was excited and feeling confident. Suddenly, with 10 minutes left to go, my voice disappeared again! I could not speak and I most definetly could not sing. Again my attempts at finding a backup plan failed and I found myself once more standing on the stage with my shaking hands and pounding heart. The thought to pray came to my mind once more and I immediately asked God to please give me my voice back. I opened my mouth to sing and in that moment my voice was again restored.
This experience continued to happen every single evening for the next 2 1/2 weeks, always 10 minutes before each concert. Each evening I prayed and God would give me my voice back right when I needed it. After a time, I began to realize that God was trying to teach me something and each evening it became more and more clear to me what that was. God was trying to remove the confidence I had in myself, teaching me to put my confidence in Him alone. He wanted me to learn to trust and rely on Him and to understand that I can not sing for Him without first realizing that it is not done in my strength, but His alone.
I could have never imagined, at the time, that God was preparing me for full time music ministry and that these were the lessons I first needed to learn. I could not do what I do now without having learned those important lessons first. Not only did God remove my self confidence, but He also showed me that when I depend on Him, regardless of whether or not I’m feeling up to it, He always comes through for me. Even years later, when sick and struggling with a terrible cough for a month, which destroyed my voice for the entire time, He took me through that month full of concerts and never let me down once. Even though I would explode into a fit of coughing when I simply tried to talk, each time I would begin a concert, my cough would disappear and my voice would come back stronger and clearer than when I wasn’t sick and would hold until I reached the end of the concert. This is just a few of many faith building experiences God has given me to prove Himself true and faithful in all situations.”
After graduating from Fountainview Academy in 2011, God led Laura directly into music ministry. Requests for music began coming in, and before long, she was traveling full time.
Laura also began recording CDs. She had no studio, no engineer, and was not very knowledgeable about the subject, but she did have a computer with Apple Garage Band software, one MXL studio mic, and a mom who graciously took the time to record all of the needed accompaniment tracks. She would spend hours at a time in her room recording one song after another and eventually ended up with 4 CDs. The original Going Home, Redeeming Love, The Hymns We Love and a Christmas CD called Peace On Earth.
For the next 5 years, Laura flew all around the USA giving concerts, singing for evangelistic meetings and working with various ministries, such as Amazing Facts, The Voice of Prophecy, Modern Manna, and various television stations including, Hope Channel, Loma Linda Broadcasting Network and Three Angels Broadcasting Network.
While Laura loved the work she was doing, being on the road full time, alone, can become quite lonely so she began to pray that God would send a partner in ministry and in life. Someone who could help to grow the ministry in ways that she could not and bring more quality to it. Little did she know, God already had the perfect man picked out. When the time was right, He introduced them to each other!
A Perfect Match
Laura recalls, “When I would tour in Southern California, I would work during the week at the pizza shop my brother and his wife owned. This was my favorite hangout place and I made sure to schedule lots of concerts in the area. One day, a guy walked into the pizza shop. His name was Ernie Hernandez. His hair was spiked, he wore a leather jacket with chains hanging down, skeleton jewelry, and a Marilyn Manson t-shirt to complete the look. He was a pot smoker and member of a hard core heavy metal band. He ordered a pizza which I made for him and then he left. However, that evening he was back and he continued to come back every day after that. We became fast friends, but I let him know we wouldn’t be more than just friends, since our overall beliefs and lifestyle were very different from one another. Ernie began spending every day with my brother’s family and I, and soon, we considered him a part of the family. He began to notice things about us that were different than anything he had seen before and he began to ask us questions. We began studying the Bible with him and in the course of a year I watched his life change drastically.
In September 2015, my brother (who had just gone through a very similar and powerful conversion experience), my brother’s wife, and Ernie were all baptized together and I joined them in re-baptism. There are no words to convey how wonderful and special that day was!
It was not too long before Ernie and I completely fell in love and began a serious relationship. He packed up his belongings and moved from California to Washington state and moved in with my family. We immediately set out to build our very own music studio. Oh! Did I mention? Ernie is an audio engineer! He was just the person I needed to help me in my ministry work and I could not have asked for a better partner!”
Together, Ernie and Laura spent the next year fundraising, saving and building. Ernie taught himself how to build a vocal recording booth using Youtube tutorials and soon they had their very own music studio. Now that Laura had someone in her life who was very knowledgable in audio engineering and now that they had the proper equipment for the job, they began the process of re-recording and re-mastering all of Laura’s old CDs and recording new ones.
In April of 2017, Ernie and Laura were married in the state of Oregon. The wedding was the first stop of a 7 month music tour that took them all across the USA. At just the right time, God graciously provided them with a portable sound system and a dependable travel vehicle perfect for their needs. Since that time, they have seen God do amazing things opening doors and leading in ways that they could not have imagined.
Today they work together, traveling, giving concerts, providing music for various events, speaking and telling people about the amazing things God can do for us all when we put our full trust in Him.
Shortly after they met, Ernie graduated from the Art Institute of California with a degree in audio science and engineering. In 2019 Ernie and Laura launched New Creation Media. Through NCM, Ernie offers services in audio, photography and video projects to ministries, individual artists and creators.
Laura shares this thought, “Every day I look back at all the things God has done in my life and every day I look at my husband and think about how God really is the perfect Matchmaker. I am truly excited to see what else He has in store for our future.”
The story does not end here! There are more adventures ahead! There are lots of ways to stay connected with Ernie and Laura and keep up with the latest happenings.