Originally in Engage Magazine by Gina Grate Pottenger
“We are excited for the CIS Field with this announcement,” said Norris. “Scott and family are passionate for the CIS and its ministries and churches. With the Raineys comes a lot of experience, vision, an evangelist's heart and great administrative skills. They are an answer to our prayers.”
Rainey, who spent 18 years as a local church pastor prior to becoming a missionary, has been assisting Norris since the latter part of 2012, when the Norris’s relocated to the U.S. to support family there. Being Norris’s feet on the ground in the CIS helped Rainey get to know the field more intimately, and become familiar with what is involved in the FSC role.
“The task is definitely bigger than I am,” Rainey said. “I’ve prayed God would always have me doing something I couldn’t do in my own strength and my own power, so I had to totally depend and rely on Him. I’m definitely there. I will rely on Him. I will also lean on our mission team; we’ve got a really good mission team.”
In his first two years in the CIS Field, Rainey focused on encouraging and mentoring pastors and leaders in the practical side of pastoral ministries. Rainey said he quickly fell in love with the field, and got to know the people, spending a lot of time with the pastors.
During this spring’s district assemblies in the field, Rainey cast a vision for the field as a whole to strive for unity, evangelism and discipleship.
“What I’ve laid out before our districts is a focus … for us to be unified in Christ,” he said. “The scripture says the world will know you’re disciples by your love. The result of unity and love for one another is the world looking in and noticing there’s a difference.”
Rainey believes that unity, evangelism and discipleship are inextricably intertwined. Evangelism naturally flows out of unity in the body of Christ, and discipleship is wrapped up closely with evangelism. Building on these principles, he challenged the five districts of the CIS to work together in sending their own missionaries to new countries on the field where the denomination does not yet have a presence.
In a recent interview with Engage magazine, Rainey shared how God led his family to Ukraine:
My heart has leaned toward missions since I was a teenager. While I had never felt a call to go and serve as a missionary, we always wanted to serve God’s Church with missions at the forefront. At the start of 2011, while I was serving as lead pastor in Houston, I began to feel that God was going to bring a change in my life away from pastoring the local church. In October 2011, at a Eurasia mission conference, we were asked to consider coming as missionaries to the CIS to develop and mentor pastors. After a month of fervent prayer, we knew that God was saying, “This is the way of obedience and peace for you.” We gladly said “yes” again to our Sovereign Savior and within two months our journey began.
“I appreciate Scott as a team builder,” said Arthur Snijders, Eurasia Region director. “He reaches out to other leaders in other parts of the CIS to bring them together as part of the team. In that sense he embodies the interconnectedness we need as a region.”
The Rainey family – Scott’s wife, Jenny, and their two daughters, Bekah and Sarah – will remain in Kyiv, Ukraine.