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Parallel 8

Self-Resiliency of Volcanic Eruption Survivor: An Endeavour to build Empowerment Ministry within Wounded Community



Master Student in Pastoral Studies

GRE, Fordham University, New York

An empowerment ministry is formed by embracing the cultural wisdom and resiliency of the survivors of a traumatic event. Therefore, this research describes the traumatic experiences of Gurukinayan[1] survivors who witnessed the Sinabung eruption and have lived with its uncertainty for almost ten years. The research shows that the survivors of this event experience destruction towards their self-awareness, self-knowledge, and self-esteem. However, with this personality damage, I tried to acknowledge their resiliency through lamenting and healing memories.


As a wounded community, the Gurukinayan survivors struggle to build a better faith community within their church ministry—the separation and deconstruction of their well-being do not hinder their ability to remain with each other. Thus, in this paper, I offered a new perspective in order to obtain empowerment ministry by recognizing their ability as resilient survivors. Through their own ability, I offered a new notion of resiliency within the wounded community. Instead of using an inductive approach, this practice shows how doing practical theology should be contextual and relevant based on the contexts and capability of the church itself.



self-awareness, self-knowledge, self-esteem, resiliency, healing, memories, lamenting, empowerment, trauma.   


[1] Gurukinayan is a village in Karo Land, a remote area in North Sumatra, Indonesia. Since 2013, all the villagers have dealt with the impact of a traumatic event such as Sinabungs’ mountain eruptions.


Rev. Indah Sriulina, M.Th., is now enrolled as a Master of Art in Pastoral Studies at the Graduate School of Religion and Religious Education (GRE), Fordham University, New York. Besides becoming a full-time student, she works as a young pastor at Batak Karo Protestant Church in Kebayoran Lama, Jakarta, Indonesia.

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