Plans are in place for College World Series ministry

9th Inning Ministry is gearing up for its 13th year of ministry during the NCAA Men’s College World Series in Omaha, Neb.

The Omaha Baseball Breakfast will be held Saturday, June 16, from 8-10 a.m. at Ramada Inn Plaza (formerly the Holiday Inn Central). Brian Conklin will be the featured speaker. His topic will be “Playing Sports God’s Way.” Conklin is director of the Fellowship of Christian Athletes for the Omaha metropolitan area.

Conklin’s love is baseball, but he holds the record for 3-point shooting in basketball for the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. He played in the International League for several years. Conklin also will be an instructor during the 9th Inning baseball clinics on June 5-6.

The breakfast will feature testimonies by former and current College World Series players. Give-a-ways and other fun activities also are planned.

Ticket information for the Baseball Breakfast will be posted on the 9th Inning Ministry Web site

Baseball clinics for children are planned for Tuesday and Wednesday, June 5-6.

The clinics on Tuesday, June 5, will be held at the Zorinsky baseball fields near 156th and F streets in west Omaha. Grace Fellowship Church is sponsoring the morning clinic to be held from 9-11:30. Westside Church will sponsor the afternoon clinic from 1-3:30.

Two more clinics will be held Wednesday, June 6, at the Baldwin Baseball Complex at Highway 370 and Ludwig Road in Bellevue. Times are 9-11:30 a.m. and 1-3:30 p.m. LifeSpring Church is the sponsor.

In 2011, 9th Inning Ministry had a “very different, but highly successful year,” reported Jay Dess, the ministry’s founder and president. “In summary, when God shuts a door, He slams open others!”

The 2011 baseball clinics and the Omaha Baseball Breakfast were handled as usual with great results. A total of 209 decisions for Christ were reported—156 at the baseball clinics and 53 at the Baseball Breakfast.

In 2011, the College World Series moved from the famous old Rosenblatt Stadium to the new T.D. Ameritrade Park. This posed a challenge to 9th Inning Ministry in distributing “Thirst No More” water bottles with the gospel printed on them.

Dess met with downtown merchants, city planners and Omaha police to try to find new locations to distribute water. But due to uncertainty about the flow of traffic and people, “we abandoned our plans to hand out water at the new stadium,” he said.

As it turned out, most of locations considered for distributing bottled water were underwater, due to flooding.

“We had ordered our bottled water supply in March (2011) with the promise to the sponsors that we would hand out the total water amount as always. With no locations finalized at the new stadium, we opened up the ministry to not just be a College World Series ministry, but to expand to new venues during the entire summer through our volunteers, churches, and other organizations. Remarkable results occurred!

“We were overwhelmed with calls and e-mails from volunteers, ministries, organizations, and churches asking for the ‘free’ bottled water for their events, thus spreading the Gospel much more broadly to the area for the entire summer utilizing the water purchased by our sponsors for hand out.

“It was a total success! 9th Inning Ministry totaled 55 venues with 51 ‘new’ expanded venues for the 2011 ministry. Wow, God totally is faithful!”