A Hawaiian actor, author, and motivational speaker who was on the brink of death from a serious health condition says God's healing power restored him and gave him a second chance at life.
Fred Amina, 42, from Oahu struggled with alcoholism from an early age. The addiction eventually caught up with him and he was hospitalized in 2016 with pancreatitis.
"That's when God started to change my life," Amina told CBN News.
"I started drinking at a very young age and made the wrong choices. I thank God for His grace, for letting me live through the bad decisions so I can share and tell of His wonders and mercy."
Due to his poor health, Amina remained under a doctor's care for a month.
"I went into the hospital at 240 pounds. In one month, I was 168 pounds. I had two nickel-sized cysts that were bleeding and I had to use feeding tubes," explained.
Amina recalled the day his son and daughter were overcome with sadness as they left the hospital.
He told CBN News, "God spoke to my heart and said, 'Choose life or death.' I knew that was the Lord. God gave me so many chances in life. When I looked at them and I heard that voice, God said, 'No more chances Fred.' I knew I was going to die. God is true. That's my foundation, Jesus Christ."
He continued, "You have to choose if you love something more than that addiction, and I'd rather live. I love my children more than that. I thank God for his grace and opportunity."
After he was discharged from the hospital, Amina knew he had to live a more healthy life for himself and his children. He joined the local YMCA to improve physically but also turned to the Bible for spiritual healing.
But there was another big problem. Amina was mostly illiterate and struggled with writing. As he devoted his time and energy to focus on the Bible, he simultaneously learned how to read.
"It's a higher standard I have to hold myself up to. Now I have to literally control myself. Reading my Bible first and exercising," he said. "For me, the foundation of health has to come from the Bible. To me, that is where health comes from. When my heart and mind are right, everything falls into place – when I have the right relationship with the Lord, being obedient."
"From someone who could barely read or write, it's crazy the road God got me on. God had to show me that he was real. In Hawaii, they call it hard-headed, but God had to show me that He is real. His word is so true. I can remember Bible scriptures and verses but still struggle with spelling."
And with each new day, he puts his faith in Jesus Christ to guide and direct him.
"When I wake up, I say I'll do the right thing today. What I do now to live a better life is put my trust in Jesus, that He will lead me to live right. Now I just try to believe and trust in everything Jesus has for me. Trusting Jesus. He is changing me. He is author and finisher of my life."
He is also working to become an agent with Hawaiian Airlines.
His advice to others is to "never give up ... keep pushing yourself. I will never be ashamed of God, even today. God is faithful. Where God is taking me will be higher than there. Get out of your comfort zone if you want to do great things."
Amina is hopeful that others, who are facing similar struggles, will hear his story and feel inspired to change their life too, to know that God offers them a shot at a 2.0 version of their life.
"When I first started speaking about my story, I felt like it was a burden to share," he told CBN News. "One day, a friend said, 'You know Fred, it's a privilege and honor for God to allow you to share your story of what he did in your life.'"
Since then, Amina openly shares why he looks to the Lord for strength.
"I didn't feel it so I had to speak it. You're not going to always feel it, but you have to have faith," he concluded.