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"How could we sing the Lord’s song in a foreign land?"

Twenty three years ago I met a family from a foreign land, and my life was changed forever. The Aliyagic family came to Jacksonville from war torn Bosnia with very few possessions and very little English. But they knew what they had to do to survive, and they never gave up, and they never lost hope. I believe they knew how to "sing the Lord's song." They were bound together as a family by deep love for each other, they had strong minds and hearts and they intended to make it in America...and they did.

Friday I met them again after such a long time at the naturalization ceremony for Djulijana and Muris, the parents. Alma and Mirza were naturalized years ago. Alma and Mirza have careers in banking. Djuyiana and Muris are retired now.

I learned so much from this family; I learned that the human spirit cannot be subdued and that Love can keep a family together under the worst of conditions.

My heart sang and I wept as I stood with a room full of people watching Djulijana and Muris pledge their allegiance to the United States of America as the newest citizens. They taught me how to sing the Lord's song in an amazing way, and I will love them forever because of that.

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