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Meet Geraldson Rubem da Silva (Dinho)

Geraldson Rubem da Silva, known locally as Dinho, began his relationship with Promoting Hope and aquaponics in 2019 when he attended a workshop taught by John and Sheila Hall, of Promoting Hope, in a small town called Lagoa Nova in the State of Rio Grande do Norte in Northeast Brazil. As the workshop came to a close,

Dinho made it clear that he would be willing to help build an aquaponic system in his community, Serra do Meio, and that he would take the lead in operating such a system.

Dinho’s previous life had not always been happy or healthy. As a teen, Dinho’s uncles had introduced him to alcohol and encouraged him to adopt a way of life that turned out to be destructive to himself and his family. Of course, his life pattern was not unusual in

that context. Many people living in poor villages in the Sertão (a semi-arid region of Northeastern Brazil), engage in heavy drinking, gambling, and waste the few resources they are able to obtain, in part, as a response to fatalistic perspectives and hopelessness.

Later, Dinho shared about the turmoil and the violence in his home leading him to consider suicide. He said his life changed, however, when he made the decision to

become a Jesus follower. Although the process of restoring his home took several years, Dinho decided he wanted a better life for himself, for his family and his community. That is what motivated him to attend the workshop on aquaponics and wholesome life values.

Following the workshop, Dinho, his family, and a few neighbors worked with Promoting Hope to build an aquaponic system on the grounds of a small chapel in Serra do Meio. This process took place in Brazil’s mid-summer heat (January and February), when the temperatures were regularly in the 90’s during the daytime.

Children and teens worked alongside the adults; some ladies set aside their usual activities to cook meals, assist in sorting rocks for the grow beds, or painting the water barrels, digging holes for the support structure, or just being present and available for whatever might be needed.

As the system began to stabilize and plants began to grow, many neighbors dropped by to admire the fish in the tank or to ask how plants were able to grow in the gravel beds. Dinho and his daughter, Ilana, who had become her dad’s right hand, were happy to explain how aquaponics works and to offer a tour of the system.

After numerous cycles of fish and plant harvests, Dinho and his family have bec

ome notable examples in the community of generosity and wholesome living. Their family has recovered the dignity and healthfulness of hard work, creativity, and the meaning of wholesome life values, while inviting others in the community to join them in this life pattern.

Dinho has developed other talents while continuing to operate the aquaponic system in Serra do Meio. He has begun to produce hand-crafted wood products that he sells to friends and contacts in nearby Lagoa Nova. He has also begun theological studies on the Internet and currently leads the small congregation in Serra do Meio.

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