Agros Blog

Reflections on Kurt Meyer

Kurt Meyer.  I met him almost 30 years ago in Guatemala when we were both young men.  He heard about my dream for helping the rural poor in Guatemala through land ownership, and instantly responded with his heart.  Over the years, he poured himself into the Agros cause in so many ways – as a board member and president of Fundación Agros in Guatemala, as a dreamer, friend, and encourager.  And most of all, as one whose love of Jesus translated into loving the poor.

Kurt and I sharing some moments in the Ixil in 1998.  Photos courtesy of Mike Yukevich.

Kurt and I sharing some moments in the Ixil in 1998. Photo courtesy of Mike Yukevich.

For many years Kurt ran a successful business growing and exporting bromeliads – plants that grow and thrive without roots in soil, such as orchids. His plants and flowers were of high enough quality to be in great demand in Europe.  Not surprisingly, Kurt had an encyclopedic knowledge of flora of all kinds.  On our many trips from Guatemala City to the Ixil Region to visit our Agros villages, Kurt would sometimes abruptly ask whoever the driver was to stop in the middle of nowhere.  Then he would leap out of the car and go over to the side of the road, and excitedly show those of us who followed him out of the car some rare or not so rare variety of bromeliad or other plant, give us its Latin genus name, and tell us all about its scientific classification and related orders.  Every trip with Kurt was a learning experience – not just about his beloved world of plants, but about life as well.

He was a sophisticated man with elegant manners.  He spoke Spanish, German, and English with equal fluency.  He and I shared a deep love for classical music, and every so often he would ask me to bring with me on one of my trips a particular recording he could not find in Guatemala.  These were, of course, pre-Amazon.com days.  He also had his share of suffering in life.  Along with thousands of others of German descent, he was deported from his native Guatemala during World War II.  He did not like to talk about that experience.  In more recent years, he lost his beloved wife to a sudden illness, and his only daughter in a tragic plane crash.

Kurt and I on the same trip the Ixil. Photo courtesy of Mike Yukevich.

Kurt and I on the same trip the Ixil. Photo courtesy of Mike Yukevich.

Kurt’s roots in agriculture helped us in so many ways as we built the Agros village model, and helped the people to become successful farmers.  Early on, he dreamed of building a training center in the Ixil Region where Agros villagers and others could learn the best in methods and practices to enhance their production and their lives. He even drew sketches laying out what the center would look like, with training classrooms, living quarters for visitors, and demonstration plots.  That dream was realized with the inauguration of the Agros Ixil Technology Center in Nebaj in 2007.

Kurt Meyer died early morning January 29, 2012, after suffering a series of strokes and heart attacks during recent months.  He leaves behind three sons, Kurt, Dieter and Helmuth.

Comments

1
Dieter Meyer Responds:

Thank you for been a good friend of my Dad… God bless you always
Dieter Meyer

2
Monica Responds:

Las personas que viven dándose y dando a los demas generosamente, viven y hacen vivir. Hacen realidad sueños y visiones…descubriendo que “Es mejor dar que recibir” (Hechos 20:35).

3
David Carlson Responds:

Thank you Skip for recalling for us all Kurt’s wonder and appreciation for the beautiful as well as the downtrodden of the world. Also, I recall those original sketches of the Technology center…in fact, we may yet have them in the office rolled up somewhere!

4
Dan Elliott Responds:

Skip, thanks for sharing these reflections about Kurt. Your friendship and collaboration with this great man blessed the lives of many people in Guatemala and beyond. May memories of Kurt bring comfort and inspiration to the Meyers and to the whole Agros family.

5
Pastor Bud Palmberg Responds:

I remember so well the wonderful experience of meeting Kurt when on an early Agros work team. His friendship,
commitment, and hospitality still warms my memory. Skip, you and Kurt have marked countless lives for our Lord with your creativity and generosity and faith. I am really honored to know you both.

6
Alfred Kaltschmitt Responds:

Great piece Skip. You captured Kurt´s essence. Indeed, a great man. My dearest friend. A friend so close I could wake up in the middle of the night if I was in need. I never did. But thats what he said a friend was. Somebody that was there for you, any time, any day.

I hugged his sons yesterday. When I met them, they were just babies. Our families grew together. Dieter and Jacky, my daughter, were classmates from kinder until they graduated.

The funeral service was beatiful. Friends talked about him with respect and admiration. Many tears. Beautiful testimonies.

Kurt will be missed. But he his home.

7
Al Roser Responds:

Thanks Skip for your kind words and remembrances of Kurt. At the end of each of our many trips to the Ixil we would have a dinner with the Guatemalan staff, usually in Antigua. Kurt almost always took the time to be with us for these evenings. He truly loved the indigenous people there, and he had a real passion to help them. He was a wonderful person, clearly demonstrating Jesus’ love. It is indeed sad that he is gone, but we can rejoice knowing where Kurt is now, in the presence of Jesus Christ.
Al Roser

8
Claudia Meyer-Calderon Responds:

I couldn’t have said it in better words. My uncle Kurt was a man of strong faith in our Lord Jesus Christ, and his love for Him was reflected towards all his family and the people that worked with him and for him. A great man indeed, if one of his nieces may say so. Thank you for recognizing his work.

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