Giving comes easy for Rangers pitcher Robbie Ross. He and wife Brittany have been giving water and other goods to the homeless in their Lexington, Ky., hometown for nearly five years.
They were encouraged to give by their Southland Christian Church, and since the beginning dreamed of doing mission work around the globe. A chance encounter Brittany had with the group Ethiopia Smile led them to their first trip to Ethiopia last November.
“She called me and said we need to do this,” Ross said. “I said ‘Let’s do it.’ Two days later we were shipped up and ready to go. We got our flights in a matter of two days.”
The 10-day trip changed their lives. They helped assist on dental work, handing out supplies such as lotion, toothpaste and toothbrushes.
“We were immediately thinking we need to go back next year,” Ross said. “It was life-changing and eye-opening in the sense that it was like, wow, this is really a place God must have been calling us to.”
The couple created Mission 108 in 2011. Where did the name come from?
“The number 108 pops up for us everywhere,” Ross said, pointing out that there’s 108 seams on a baseball, 108 beads on a Catholic rosary and adding that he even returned a kickoff 108 yards in a high school football game. He’s even tattooed 108 on his arm.
They are ready to return to Africa as soon as possible.
“It was pretty amazing,” he said. “This is a place that truly changes you and you appreciate more and more what we have. Just the simple things that we take for granted. I guarantee you we’ll be going back for sure.”
Word from Wash
“I’ve been relaxed since the day I arrived here. My attitude and my approach hasn’t changed. Hasn’t changed one bit. Dallas Green told me a long time ago if you get frustrated in spring training it’s going to be a long year. That’s right, the year hasn’t started yet. So I’m not going to start getting like that in spring training. You’ll see what happens. I’ve got a long year coming. We’ll just continue to do our work and hope we can get these guys well and when we get the 25 on the roster, we’ll go to war with them.” — Manager Ron Washington on whether having Alex Rios and Geovany Soto back made him more at ease about his 2014 lineup.