Gloria Lizcano was a member of our congregation, Teusaquillo Mennonite Church. She was a very humble and very pleasant woman, always wearing a smile.
Her particular gift was service. She was always serving. In fact, her job was serving coffee and tea at the office of the Mennonite Colombian Foundation for Development. She was also an usher at our church.
She lived near our house in Bogotá, on the other side of an avenue. So on Saturday nights she would go over to our house and pick up the bulletins. And then she’d take them home to fold them and bring them to church the next morning.
One Saturday night she was returning to her home with the bulletins. And the president’s motorcade–the president of Colombia–his motorcade was going by on that avenue. It passed by, and Gloria began to cross the road.
But she didn’t notice that one of the escorts was speeding behind the motorcade on his motorcycle. The escorts have powerful motorcycles, and their job is to block traffic and then speed to catch up with the motorcade. Well he came speeding along and hit her and sent her flying.
She was instantly dead.
That was a big blow to the church and to all her friends. We had the funeral at our church. And the president and his wife wanted to come to the funeral, which was obviously a nice gesture.
Before the service, of course, the security people came to check out the building and make sure there were no bombs or other threats. My wife, Leticia, was at the church with the president’s security people arrived.
The colonel was about to enter the church with his men and all of their weapons, but Leticia told him, “You can’t come in with arms here.” That took him aback a little, but he made a quick a phone call. When he hung up, he said, “Ok.”
The church was full. We were just getting started when the president and his wife came. They sat very quietly in the front row through the whole service. They saw the appreciation of the people for Gloria.
When the president came in, no one clapped. But when Gloria’s coffin came in, then people did clap.
I think it was a very powerful witness to the role of this servant of God who, in her own quiet way, preached more gospel to us and to the president and his wife than many words.
So Gloria Lizcano was remembered by her congregation.
For more of Gloria’s story, see: https://themennonite.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/10/02-07-2006-A-gardener-of-kindness.pdf