NORWICH, CT (WFSB) -- The nation has been gripped by deadly mass shootings, with the most recent in west Texas just this past weekend.
The scenes of chaos and mourning in these heartbroken communities prompted three men from Connecticut to do something.
They wanted to remind people that they are loved.
“To me love is strong. It’s got an edge to it, the first mile you have to go but the extra mile is the one you do out of love,” said Adam Bowles.
He and Matthew Martinez, of Castle Church in Norwich, have decided to hand deliver their thoughts and prayers in the aftermath of recent mass shootings in El Paso, Dayton, and most recently Odessa.
That’s exactly what their church group did when they got in a car and drove to El Paso to comfort the community, stopping in Dayton along the way.
The messengers thought, if the shooter felt compelled to release hate on a community, they could do the same with love and coined the phrase, "Love Goes Farther."
They documented their road trip on social media, which also doubled as a fundraiser for an El Paso foundation.
Upon arrival, a somber shadow hovered.
“You could feel the grief,” Bowles said.
Still, the group hugged people, prayed for them and reminded them, they are loved. They also encountered surprises from the online world to the real one.
“When we got there, there’s was actually a woman who was following us from day one, all the way to the first steps we took and she was actually the first person that greeted us,” Martinez said.
Just after returning to Norwich, another deadly mass shooting happened -- this time in west Texas.
It was another round of thoughts and prayers and it was a hard pillow to swallow for the men.
They did say people have to rise up, no matter the method.
“The feeling in my spirit was like, ‘no, you can’t let the hits knock you out’,” Bowles said.
Mass shootings take a toll on most everyone, but the men are pledging to fight even harder to spread the message that love is stronger than hate.