梅兰妮现还在研究所就读，她学的是医学社会工作(Medical Social Work)。去年十二月，她从大学毕业，主修社会工作学。
Thank you for your letter dated the 6th December. I am sorry I have not replied yet but things are very hectic at the moment. We are busy packing up our things to go back to South Africa and have receptions and dinners every day.
I can briefly tell you about us. I accepted Christ when I was 8 years old and my became Christians shortly afterwards. I met Mac (who had accepted the Lord when he was 21) when I was 24. We fell in love and prayed for guidance from the Lord as to whether it was His will for us to marry. Five months after we met we got married and have been happily married for nearly 26 years.
Eighteen months after we got married our first daughter was born but she had Downs Syndrome and an enlarged heart and only lived for 9 days.
Melanie was born the next year (she will be 23 on the 30th Dec). When she was 14 months old I gave birth prematurely to another little girl.
My uterus had ruptured when I was 33 weeks pregnant and I nearly died and the baby lived for a day. On Melanie's 3rd birthday I gave birth to Shona who will be 20 on the 30th Dec.
The doctors told me I must not have anymore children and we had always hoped to have 4. We tried for many years to adopt but because we already had 2 children we could not get a newborn baby. Finally, we managed to adopt a baby girl of 13 months old - Christine.
We have always believed in disciplining our children. The scriptures say "spare the rod and spoil the child" in Proverbs. I don't believe in trying to reason with a small child or distracting their attention when they do something naughty. After I have spoken once or twice then I would give them a smack with my hand on their behinds. They learnt very quickly that if I said 'no' I meant no or else they would feel my hand.
Of course as they get older and become teens they tend to be bigger than their parents so the only way of punishing them for doing wrong is to deprive them of something that is extremely important to them for a period of time. All this is always done with love and it is explained to them (when they are older and can understand) why it was necessary. They have been taught that they must suffer the consequences of their disobedience.
We try most nights (but it is not always possible) to have family prayers. We read a portion of scripture and each child gets a chance to say a prayer. They have always gone to church with us - since birth.
We have always taken them with us on vacations and I have never left them with other people to look after all the time. I stayed at home and looked after them for the first 15 years of their lives. I know it is not always possible these days for people to have a mother staying at home but I believe it is better for the children.
Christine has matured early as a result of having older sisters in the house. We have always regarded her as our own and treated her the same as the other children. The children were taught that they could not have everything their eyes see. Financially it is not possible and has not been possible for us to give them everything they have wanted. What we have given them is a lot of love, discipline and a family life.
Melanie, the eldest is going into her second year at university studying for her Masters Degree in Medical Social Work. She graduated last year in December with a BA Social Work Degree.
Shona is engaged and plans to marry on the 31st January 98. She is in the Air Force in South Africa.
Our postal address in SA will be :
I am afraid I must end now as they want to pack my computer away!
May you have a very blessed Christmas.
God bless and I hope this short resume will help.