|   Posted: June 29, 2017

Children at the Compassion center get to see that transformation is possible through Fredy's life.

Fredy Setiawan

Children at the Compassion center get to see that transformation is possible through Fredy's life.

Fredy stands next to a train with his badminton racket

Home Country: Indonesia

Occupation: National Badminton champion preparing to compete in the International Paralympic Games in 2020 in Japan.

Life Goal: Teaching children in poverty about the power of transformation — and winning a gold medal in badminton!

Fredy remembers years of struggle. But his determination, paired with the support of his church and his sponsor, meant that Fredy refused to be defeated. Even by poverty.

Nothing Can Stop Him

Fredy loved soccer. But no matter how much he practiced or how hard he worked, he couldn’t keep up. The muscles in his lower legs were left permanently weak from a muscle disease, and he often left the soccer field frustrated and upset.

The staff at the Compassion center Fredy attended noticed the boy’s struggles. They tried to help him find another alternative — a sport he could excel in and feel proud of.

Fredy practices swinging his badminton racket

Fredy says a simple gift of a badminton racket from his sponsor changed his entire future.


But when they pitched the idea of badminton, Fredy was skeptical. None of his friends played badminton. And while the sport is popular in Indonesia, it wasn’t something Fredy had ever thought of exploring.

“Just try it,” implored his tutor. So finally, Fredy did.

Other students from the center enrolled in the class, and the center paid a coach and even rented nearby badminton fields. When Fredy saw how seriously they were taking it, he decided he should too.

“It turned out that I was one of the faithful ones,” says Fredy, whose talent quickly began catching the attention of his coach. “Many of my friends stopped coming, but I came every day.”

There was one thing that Fredy was missing, though.

Fredy stands outside his home with his father

Fredy stands outside his home with his father, Wahrimin.

Fredy watches a badminton competition in Indonesia

Fredy watches a badminton competition in Indonesia as he waits to compete.


“I had no badminton racket of my own because my parents could not afford to buy me one,” says Fredy. Fredy’s father was a shop assistant, and his mother worked as a cook at the Compassion center. He knew they couldn’t afford sporting equipment, so he just used an old, borrowed racket.

But a gift from his sponsor would change that.

“My sponsor sent me a birthday gift, some money that I could use to buy anything I needed. With it, I bought my first racket,” says Fredy. “Through that gift, and through my sponsor’s letters and prayers, he had a big impact in my life.”

Fredy has come a long way from the skinny kid with the borrowed badminton racket. Today, the 25-year-old is ranked one of the best badminton players in Indonesia. In 2016 he competed in the Paralympic Games and won four medals in the Singapore championship — including two golds.

Currently, Fredy is training for the 2020 International Paralympic Games in Japan. He trains hard and has even been able to pay for his younger sister to go to school through his badminton sponsorships and winnings.

But through it all, Fredy has not forgotten where it started. With encouraging tutors, patient coaches and a supportive sponsor. Every week he visits the Compassion center where he got his start.

“I like to visit and talk with the children there,” says Fredy. “I want them to know that anyone can accomplish their dreams. Anyone.”

And those children get to see that transformation is possible — because in Fredy, they see themselves.