What I Learned from an Orphan Who Grew Up in India


Last year, I wrote about what American teenagers could learn from two weeks in an orphanage in India (story here). Now, it is time to turn the bright light on myself.

Having spent the better part of a decade traveling to an orphanage in Central India, one orphan has taught me more about life, my God, my faith, and myself than perhaps anyone else in the world. Having just returned again from India, here are four lessons that I have been taught that have forever changed me:

  1. Daily dependence on God is the richest bond one can have with The Father. In my country, we love to ask God to join us on what WE are doing. It is amazing to see what daily obedience and dependence can produce in the life of a follower of Christ.
  2. The Holy Spirit is smothered in so many places. When a problem arises, we have taught ourselves to follow our own guidelines for solving the problem. It is incredibly humbling to be a part of a place that gives the Holy Spirit the first chance to directly intervene and solve any problem that arises.
  3. God uses whom He chooses, and that can be anyone. While the caste system in India is publicly stated as “eradicated,” that appears to be far from the reality. What is so interesting is the way God is using the lowest caste, literally known as “The Untouchables” to raise up a generation of believers who are being educated and launched like arrows into their own country for His Glory.
  4. Light shines the brightest in the darkest places. Imagine being less than 2% of a population of 1.2 Billion people. The hope that we have in Jesus Christ shines like a lighthouse in India, and it is inspiring.

The orphan I mentioned is Veer Singh. He grew up in an orphanage with 2,000 other kids 20 years ago. He got educated, learned English, and went to Bible college. Today, he is a Pastor, runs a large Christian School attended predominantly by Hindus, and has an orphanage of his own. He is one of the most humble men you will ever meet and a walking testimony to what God can do.

To me, he is also the teacher of some of my most treasured lessons.


Until next time,


About Jeffrey D. Potts, Ed.D.

Raised on a ranch in the Texas Hill Country, Jeff Potts, Ed.D., grew up learning the importance of hard work and family values. A graduate of Baylor University, he has master’s degrees from two universities and earned his Ed.D. in teaching and learning from a fourth institution. Potts launched his pedagogical career in the 1990s, working full-time with students and parents. READ MORE→