Titusville nonprofit returns from war-torn Ukraine after deploying water purifiers

Air Mobile Ministries currently have 19 water purifiers operating in Ukraine

Air mobile ministry delivering supplies to Ukraine

TITUSVILLE, Fla. – A Florida-based humanitarian group focused on water relief in Ukraine returned to the United States on Saturday after its second deployment to the country and said after so many requests for aid, they are already planning their third.

Joe Hurston, founder of the humanitarian nonprofit Air Mobile Ministries, said there is just too much work to be done.

“The requests were desperate,” Hurston said. “They were saying, ‘Joe, please get back here immediately.’”

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Hurston said he’s now been to Ukraine twice, and is now working to go back again.

So far, his team has delivered 19 water purifiers using ultraviolet technology to war-torn areas within Ukraine. His goal is to help civilians stuck there.

“In a nutshell, Air Mobile brings clean water following disasters, whether they be nature or whether they are man-made as in the case of this war,” Hurston said.

On Saturday, Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelensky called on Russia to sit down and talk as he urged the end of an onslaught at the country’s southern port city of Mariupol.

A Ukrainian presidential adviser said Russian troops have resumed air strikes there and are trying to storm a steel mill.

Ukrainian soldiers and civilians are trapped at a plant that Russian President Vladimir Putin this week ordered sealed to starve troops into surrendering.

“Russia is terrorist because there is so much evidence just Bucha, Mariupol, other Ukrainian cities where you can see this atrocities and terrible war crimes,” said Ukrainian Prime Minister Denys Shmyhal.

Hurston said portions of his team have seen some of that violence up close.

“They had a missile go off, just very, very close to where they were, so much so it knocked them down, took their hearing away and they were praying to God for protection,” Hurston said.

Hurston’s team said to stay safe, as they’ve been teaching local Ukrainians how to operate the equipment and while staying out of the line of fire.

As the war rages on, Hurston asks people here in Florida to not forget those stuck in Ukraine.

“I cannot urge (more) anyone seeing this video, or newscast, or interview — urging them for their prayer,” he said. “We do need prayer.”

Hurston and Air Mobile Ministries are still preparing to go back again to Ukraine.

You can click on this link if you want to follow along their journey or help them complete their mission.

About the Author:

Brian Didlake joined the News 6 team as a reporter in March 2021.