On Sunday the father, Mohammad, led the children around the displays set up at the village fire hall for Sparky’s birthday.
Sponsored by the Port Williams United Baptist Church, the Syrian refugee family arrived recently from Lebanon after more than a year’s wait for the village.
The oldest daughter, Aysha, 6, headed off to school after Easter at Port Williams Elementary and was warmly welcomed, according to a parent volunteer. Her siblings, Abdulla, 4, and Nouah, 2, have yet to start school, but they’ve attended a playgroup with their mother.
The church learned in late March that a travel date for the family had been set for the second week of April. The match was made in January.
Until December the church was expecting a Somali family after being informed last June that the Sudanese family that had been a previous match was not coming. The small house near the church has been ready for the last year.
The refugee sponsorship project was launched in November of 2015.