Music has always been an important aspect in 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 and by her early teens she began recording her own albums. These early albums, however, she does not like to let people listen to anymore …
In 2007, as a freshman, Laura began attending a boarding school located in beautiful British Columbia, Canada, which is called Fountainview Academy. This is where her love of singing really took off, as Fountainview had a great music program and a large orchestra and choir that toured 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.” Singing with the choir helped her to overcome an extreme case of stage fright that she did not think she would ever be rid of.
During Laura’s four years at Fountainview Academy, God taught her some very valuable lessons, which she never imagined would be used as a preparation for a future in music ministry.
Laura relates, “Every December, Fountainview had what we liked to call the ‘Cali Tour’ which was a 2 1/2 week long Christmas tour all along the West Coast. This was always the highlight of the year for me. During my third year I was given two solos in our Christmas concert. One of these songs was the opening song in which I was accompanied by a men’s chorus.
The first night of the tour arrived and I could not wait to get started! I was excited and feeling very confident in myself. As I sat on the front row of the church, waiting for the concert to begin, I looked at the clock … 10 minutes to go. Suddenly, with no warning or reason, my voice simply disappeared! It was just completely gone in a moment! 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 still attempting to come up with a backup plan, I found myself onstage as the orchestra began to play. My face was pale and I could feel my heart pounding in my chest. My hand’s were shaking and I was sure my singing career would not be going past that moment.
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!
After the concert I thought about what had happened and figured that it was really strange, but I probably would not have to deal with that problem again.
The following evening, I was again sitting on the front row of the second church 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. Again the thought to pray came to my mind 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 and instead, teach me to put my confidence in Him alone. He wanted me to learn to trust and rely on Him and to understand that I cannot sing for Him without first realizing that it is not done in my own strength, but His alone.
I could have never have imagined, at the time, that God was preparing me for a 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 I can sing or not, 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 during that whole month, 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 one 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, Laura found her path to be leading directly into music ministry. Requests for music began coming in and before long she was traveling full time.
Laura also began recording CD’s. She had no studio, no engineer, and not a lot of know how on 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 CD albums. The original “Going Home,” “Redeeming Love,” “The Hymns We Love” and a Christmas album 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, The Hope Channel, LLBN, and 3ABN.
Laura recalls, “When I would go on tour in Southern California, I would work at my brother’s pizza place during the week. This was my favorite hangout place and I made sure to schedule lots of concerts in the Colton area. One day, an interesting 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 all over and he wore 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 I quickly 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 would never 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 as a part of the family. Soon, he began to notice things about us that were different than anything he had seen before and he began to ask us some questions. We began studying the bible with him and in the course of a year I watched his life change drastically.
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 a day that was!
It was not to long after that when 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 he is a perfect match for me, if I do say so myself.”
Together, Ernie and Laura spent the next year fundraising, saving and building. Ernie taught himself how to build a vocal booth from scratch using Youtube tutorials and soon they had their very own basement music studio. Now that Laura had someone in her life who really knew what he was doing audio wise 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 albums, while simultaneously recording several 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. God graciously provided them with a portable sound system and a dependable travel vehicle, perfect for their needs and at just the right time. 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 full time, traveling around the world 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.
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 match maker. I am truly excited to see what else He has in store for our future.”