I am currently sobbing over this past Sunday’s episode of Extreme Makeover: Home Edition with the Hurston family from Cocoa, Florida. Joe Hurston, who runs the nonprofit relief organization Air Mobile Disaster Relief , has delivered portable water purifiers to disaster sites worldwide and installed about 660 water purification devices in 38 countries. Joe a pilot and Cindy, a nurse, met in Haiti and adopted their eldest daughter Juliet (17) from Haiti when she was 3 yrs old. They have a son, Peter (13) and daughter, Dieunika(5) who was adopted into the family from Haiti when she was 2.
While away from home, one of their pipes burst, flooding the house. Ironically, as Ty Pennington points out, the very thing they provide as relief to others around the world, provided devastation to their own home. When a massive earthquake struck Haiti last year, they made a conscious decision to put the repairs of their home on the back burner because the people of Haiti were in more desperate need. Even as they tour their home with Ty, the show’s designers and crew, they resist feelings of sadness over their situation because there are many of their friends living in tents of sheets or sticks, and have no access to water. They are thankful when they return from continued relief trips to Haiti, that they can live in a modest mobile home parked in their yard. A half bath in the main house provides the only actual plumbing in the home. I was struck at how Mr. Hurston’s demeanor energized as he described what his little plane could do. Its an old small workhorse but it can land in small places and can bring water purifiers just about anywhere. His joy for his mission is inspiring. One wish? That the plane had more fuel range. Part of the home makeover extends to the airplane as well.
Watching this family is nothing less than spectacular. I crave to raise a family as concerned for others as theirs. Please watch this episode and check out Air Mobile. Oh. Did I forget to mention that Air Mobile is a faith based organization? It’s not mentioned in the show–whether by design of the family or of the editors who knows or cares? They always directed the focus to the people in need and what can be done. The Hurstons are an awesome example of the love of Christ.
God bless the Hurston family in their continuing mission, safe travels, and the growth of their influence.