Our Story

How it all began

It all began in 2016 when Sarah Mattix, who is a Crisis and Trauma Counselor living in North Cyprus, went to counsel and listen to the Yezidi women living in refugee camps in Turkey. They had managed to escape the horrors of ISIS, were living in refugee camps that were overcrowded, and were committing suicide on a daily basis. The women living in those camps no longer had any hope for a good future, because there was no education or work available to them. This impacted Sarah and her husband Jerry so much, that they could not rest until they found a way to provide a hope and a future to these women. That’s when the first project of bringing women to Cyprus and providing education for them began.

After 5-years of caring for 7 Yezidi girls and 1 Syrian girl, who were finishing their college degrees in Cyprus and building a future for themselves, in the summer of 2021, the government in Afghanistan collapsed opening the door for the Taliban to retake complete control of the country. The horror and devastation over what had occurred weighed heavily on Jerry and Sarah. They knew that this was going to impact the women living there the most. They were right.

Women were no longer allowed to study, work, or go anywhere alone. After making several calls and trying to figure out how the ministry that was started for the Yezidi women could benefit the women in Afghanistan, a door finally swung open. Cyprus International University offered a %100 scholarship to any girls they brought from war-torn countries, and with the help of ShaiFund and many other generous supporters, girls were rescued and brought to the island of Cyprus in groups of 3-4.

In the course of 2 years over 30 Afghan girls were rescued from life-threatening situations and are now studying at Cyprus International University! They have all gone through trauma counseling and are still receiving therapy when needed. Some have already begun working while others are learning English. All of their daily-needs, housing, educational expenses, and health care expenses are being paid from the At Risk Women Fund. They rely on this fund to be able to continue their education and build a life for themselves outside of Afghanistan.

This fund is also used for any other women who are at risk for their faith or are in desperate situations. At Risk Women ministry has helped Iranian women, Yezidi women, Afghan women, Turkish women, and more recently Uzbek women.

Women in the Middle East do not have the same rights that the women in the West possess. They are silenced, treated like slaves, and do not know that they are loved by the One who created them. Our goal is to help as many women as possible, while exposing them to the transforming love of Christ.