KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) — For nearly two months, Joe Hurston, has been bringing water purifiers to those in desperate need in Ukraine. Hurston returned to his home in Hancock County earlier this week following his second mission to the warzone and he’s planning to go back to Ukraine very soon.
For Hurston and his team, discretion is the name of the game when it comes to delivering the machines.
“Low-key, quiet, get them in, get our team back so we can live to fight another day,” Hurston said.
Hurston says he and his Air Mobile Ministries crew are putting it all the line to keep Ukrainians healthy and hydrated.
“These guys are really risking their lives to get these water purifiers placed because they know what a difference they’ll make,” Hurston said. “They know if you’re in a bomb shelter and there’s bombs going off above you, and all the water lines have been broken, and all there are nasty puddles of water around, you can take those nasty puddles of water and turn them into near surgically pure drinking water.”
During the second mission to Ukraine, Hurston’s team was able to distribute 11 purifiers to those that need them most.
Hurston said, “I deployed units in Lviv, which right after I left there it was bombed and the very route. I could have very easily been a victim of a bomb attack.”
Nearly 20 machines have been delivered so far through Hurston’s efforts. The purifiers can produce daily, clean drinking water for about 50 people an hour.
“The Ukrainian people, the deeper I drill, the deeper I go in there, the more I’m blown away by their incredible courage and the strength they have. It’s like David fighting Goliath and these guys are actually winning the battle,” Hurston said.
Right now, more purifiers are being built in Tazewell to be brought to Eastern Europe and Hurston’s wife is going to accompany him on his third trip to Ukraine.
“She’s also a great nurse. She is equipping us and whoever our team members will be with radiation detections that will actually indicate the radiation that’s coming into your body,” Hurston said. “As well as we’ve ordered additional gas masks because we don’t know what they’re going to throw at us. We don’t know. We know that we are their (Russia) enemy and I’m proud to be their enemy because they are evil and what we’re doing is good. We’re in the business of saving lives. They’re in the business of taking lives.”
You can follow Hurston’s journey on his blog. He makes an entry everyday.