A pastor from Castle Church in Norwich, Connecticut is taking a road trip to benefit the families of the El Paso shooting victims. Pastor Adam Bowles was struck by the fact that the El Paso shooter drove 10 hours to commit an act of hate. Bowles decided to drive from Connecticut to Texas, which takes approximately one day and 10 hours of driving time, to prove that love goes farther than hate.
“Some messages get preached from a pulpit. But this one comes from behind a wheel. And it’s the one we are all preaching together right now. Love is greater than evil. His love IN us and THROUGH us is greater than evil. We have to confront hatred. And overwhelm it with love. And ‘we love because He first loved us,’” Bowles wrote in a post on the Facebook page he created to raise awareness for his trip and the fundraiser.
Bowles was inspired by a verse from the Sermon on the Mount, Matthew 5:41, when Jesus says: “If anyone forces you to go one mile, go with them two miles.”
The original financial goal of the trip was to raise a dollar for every mile traveled ($2,300) to donate to a victims’ fund set up by Paso Del Norte Community Foundation. There is a page where supporters can donate to Bowles’ mission online. Since starting their journey on Monday, August 19th, the original goal has been met. Bowles has set a new goal of $10,000.
The pastor is traveling with a friend, Matt Martinez, and his brother-in-law, Jono Wibberley. The men say they don’t know anyone in El Paso personally but “already are in love with the city.” Bowles indicates they’ve received several messages of support already.
The trio stopped in Dayton on the way to Texas to see the memorial set up for the Ohio shooting that occurred just 13 hours after the El Paso shooting. They were met by the city’s commissioner, Darryl Fairchild, who took the men to lunch.
Bowles, Martinez, and Wibberley also stopped in St. Louis on their second day of travel. The men plan on being in El Paso by Friday evening. “Our hope is we can arrive Friday evening with money raised from people outside their community as a united message that love goes farther than hate,” a post on Facebook reads.