A father of eight saw his mother and brother killed, lived in a camp for displaced persons, and then contracted COVID-19.

But these terrible circumstances became a blessing to Sami Hussein*.

Iraqi Special Operations Forces entered Mosul, Iraq four years ago and began fighting to free the city from Islamic State (ISIS) militants, Mission Network News reports.

It was during the chaos of this fighting that Hussein's mother and brother were killed.

Christian Aid Mission says Hussein then fled with his family to a camp for displaced persons near Erbil, about 50 miles east.

The Iraq city was retaken in July 2017. However, a $50 billion effort to rebuild the city was predicted at the time to take until 2022.

Those long years have been endured by Hussein and his family within their internally displaced people (IDP) camp. 

Hussein and his family have endured cold winters and fast-spreading diseases during their time in the camp. Hussein works for a low wage in a remote village to provide for his children.

While working, however, Hussein contracted COVID-19.

He isolated himself from his family by sleeping in a bag outside, next to his family's tent.

A ministry leader in Iraq says people were afraid to approach Hussein.

This was not the case for the ministry leader. He and his team regularly visited Hussein, bringing him food and medicine. They also left him Christian books to read.

This is how Christians worked to serve people in the IDP camps.

"Originally, I did not need you because I was working and I did not want to meet you because you were Christians," the leader says Hussein told him.

"But when God allowed me to be infected with the coronavirus, you were the first people who came to my family and helped us. You approached me, and from two metres away, you prayed for me to be cured."

Hussein found comfort in prayer and the scripture provided by the local missionaries, despite isolating in the desert away from his family due to disease.

"I did not understand your prayers in which you were repeating the name of Jesus, but I felt its power. Each day as I read the Bible you gave me, it gave me joy and peace," Hussein says.

The ministry leader reports Hussein recovered from the disease in a month. His whole family then came to faith.

*Name has been changed for security reasons