GREAT FALLS — The garden next to the Great Falls Rescue Mission Women’s Center in downtown Great Falls has had some big seeds planted in it over the years, and now one of their mainstays is calling it a career after nearly two decades of planting seeds in the lives of others.
Onita Yost knows as well as anyone what the Rescue Mission can do for the community, and she was a part of that for 19 years. She wasn’t sure of what she would do but she recalls being beckoned by the Lord in 2002 to come serve the community.
“I was working in casinos at the time, and He said Onita it’s time to quit helping these men build their empire and come help me build my kingdom. And so, I quit my job not knowing where I was going. I didn’t know what my next assignment would be, but I had faith,” Yost said.
Yost eventually become the director of the Women’s Center and was responsible for starting several programs that are still going strong today. She was thrown into the position when her predecessor fell ill, and she had to do their work for some time and never looked back after that.
Yost is retiring from a career filled with giving to others and caring for those who needed it. She says that being able to plant seeds in peoples’ lives was a blessing to her and even trained the woman taking over her position.
“My life has been enriched greatly by all those people whose lives I’ve touched. They’ve all touched my life too. I wouldn’t change a thing about my time here,” Yost said.
The Rescue Mission is grateful for everything Yost has done in her time there and everyone agrees it won’t be the same without her.
Executive Director Jim McCormick said he learned a lot from her, especially how to have faith, as he added she exemplified what it means to have faith.
“It’s been wonderful to work with her. We’ve only had a few people that have been around as long you know, and in these days where people seem to come and go, she was one of the mainstays. She pretty much developed the women’s program here, the recovery program, the discipleship program, and we watched them grow and we watched it go through good times and some rough times bu, she was good to work with. We wish her the best moving forward,” McCormick said.
As the Rescue Mission continues to serve, they will always remember the work of Onita Yost and what she means to the community.