A Life Well Lived

7 comments Written on August 2nd, 2012 by
Categories: Alumni, General

“I don’t want to live 98.9% for Jesus,” … “I want to live 100% for Him!” - Brett McLean

Life Lost

A few weeks ago I had the privilege of attending a memorial service for a young man who, at the age of 26, lost his life I am told, while attempting to save another. Serving as a camp counselor in north central Oregon, Brett McLean (son of Scott and Christie Huggins McLean, Dip ’73 ex.) jumped in to a turbulent waterfall to rescue a camper who had slipped and fallen in. Sadly both lives were lost.

I met Brett this past year while working on a film project with one of our alums, Jamie Lawson, as we highlighted the ministry of Multnomah alumni. In such a short period of time I was surprised by how quickly Brett had captured my heart. The joy and enthusiasm for life, which many spoke of at his memorial service, was certainly evident in our brief time together.

100% Committed

"Brett was the guy people want to be like… the guy people loved to be around," Lawson said. "He was a guy who thought of other people first, all the time." "He impacted a lot of people” … “He loved life and touched many!”

The days that followed the news of Brett’s passing were sobering for me, as I reflected on the frailty of life and the gift we are given with each new day. Whether facing a terminal illness or enjoying a vibrant and healthy life tomorrow is never promised—it can be taken at any moment.

The memorial service was a beautiful celebration, filled with thought provoking eulogies, awe inspiring worship, and powerful testimonials demonstrating the inspirational influence of Brett’s life. He had just shared a few days prior to the accident of his desire to live passionately for the Savior: “I don’t want to live 98.9% for Jesus,” Brett exclaimed. “I want to live 100% for Him!” Brett’s deep and passionate love for the Savior was certainly evident in how he lived and undoubtedly clear by the impact he had on others.

Living Intentionally

I continue to think about the words framed on a commitment card shared at his service: “Jonathan Brett McLean 1986-2012… A life lived as it was sent to do”— Simple and yet powerful words, aren’t they, as we think about living our lives focused towards the glory of God?

In just a few short weeks, we’ll welcome hundreds of students back to Multnomah’s campus—some returning, some entering for the first time—Together they will come with a shared commonality for knowing God’s Word and making Him known. Will you join me in praying for these students, that God would use their lives as He has Brett’s? That within them a deep passion and love for the Word and an intimate relationship with the Savior would grow.

Even as we think about our own lives and how we might live with the knowledge that each and every day we have the power to move people and to change lives, my prayer is that He would create within us a renewed desire to fulfill our passions and live each day fully committed to Him.

Living the life I was sent to,



Michelle M. Peel, B.A. ‘00, M.A. ‘10
Director of Alumni Relations
Multnomah University—Multnomah Bible College, Biblical Seminary and Graduate School

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Director of Alumni Relations

7 comments “A Life Well Lived”

thank u Michelle for that article. It is so thoughtful and uplifting…not only to me ..but to Brett. It is so incredible to learn so much about the love of Christ in and thru my son…so far beyond what I could see with dimmed eyes right in front of me. This hurts but I know how much our Savior loves Christie and I ….the Lord is moving and working and I pray you will see more and more young men and women ….catch fire… with His Burning Love,,,,

It was so good to see you last Thurs. tho’ the occasion was not a joyful one.
I really liked the article on Brett, thanks for passing it forward. Eilene

Michelle, your story reminds me of a woman in Wycliffe who was the best friend of another young woman I was courting. They had gone to Kansas City Bible College together and were very close. Seemingly I was unintentionally interfering in their relationship and the friend was upset with me a lot of the time. Looking back after my training as an MFT, I realized her insecurity of having been raised in an alcoholic family lay behind her attitude toward me. The two of them went to Papua New Guinea while I went to the Philippines.
Later, the friend returned to the States to earn a PhD in ethno-musicology. During that time of study, she also received in-depth counseling. The next time I saw her, she was on her way to New Guinea with her degree in hand and greeted me with a warm hug at Wycliffe’s then home office in Southern California! Her recovery was remarkable! A few years later she was one of the eight victims of a plane crash on the field (Wycliffe’s only fatal flight in forty years then–none since, I think) of using aircraft. For an unhappy person to have recovered so well so as to forgive me and to earn the PhD to help her fellow translators and to help Papuans to gain a new appreciation for their native music and then die so tragically is like Brett. Her waterfall was a falling plane!
I always enjoy your column. God bless you and us all.

This story reminded me of a youth trip in 1976 near Lewiston, ID where we had two youth drown in the same manner – one falling in to the eddy at the bottom of an upper waterfall and the other trying to rescue him. This is the second time in the last month that I have had to recall that time as I was told of another two who drowned in the same manner. Thankfully, Yahushua is in control and we can trust Him.

You are most welcome, Scott. It was a privilege to know your son for the short time that I did, and an honor to be able to celebrate the story of his life…to God be the glory!

Know that you, Christie and the family are, and will continue to be in our thoughts and prayers as you walk through this season of grief.

With all our love, prayers and deepest sympathies,

Michelle (for the Multnomah family)

It was great seeing you and Ron as well, Eilene.

So glad to hear you enjoyed reading this month’s person to person. Yes, funerals are often difficult, aren’t they? Though a beautiful opportunity for us to look at life and how we are living, as a wise man once said 🙂

Blessings to you both for a beautiful week ahead, Michelle

Thanks for taking the time to respond and thanks for sharing this story, Bob. It is amazing indeed to see what the Lord is able to do in and through our lives when they are yielded to Him. Appreciate your ongoing encouragement, Michelle

Yes, Maxine, you are right! He is a faithful God, who is sovereign and in control! Praying for you as you continue to process through this grief. Blessings, Michelle