RUSTON, La. (KTVE/KARD)— This week we will be showcasing our Remarkable Women finalist, nominated for making a difference in their communities. NBC 10’s Chelsea Monae introduces us to Gloria Mays of Ruston who has not only made a difference in her community but in communities around the world.

“I am an international medical missionary. I’ve traveled to nine countries and we traveled to japan two times, Israel, the Caribbean Islands, the Bahamas, Jamaica, Grenada and Dominica”, said Mays.

Gloria Mays is an Adult Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner who says mental health across the spectrum is a major worldwide problem. For many years, she has been providing various types of support to those in need through her non-profit.

“Elisha Ministries is a faith-based non-profit. We’ve been in business for nineteen years. I am the founder and executive director. We provide housing, case management, housing referrals, and community resources, social support for benefits”, she said.

Mays says she was inspired to help others after tragically losing her home as a child and seeing the community pull together to help her own family.

Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner and Remarkable Women Finalist

“I remember the overwhelming support that the community came in and gave our family. I believe that is what left what we call a stain in my brain. An incredible traumatic event turned out to be an opportunity to use that experience in order to encourage and inspire other people”, she added.

She says she received a miracle after a trip to Japan where she was asked to pray for an 84-year old woman who was sick.

“At the time I had breast cancer and the research we have now was not the same. It was in 2005. So you can imagine, I thought I had a death sentence on my life”, said Mays.

“But by praying for that lady, I realized that when you forget about your problems and focus on someone else, it can become a catalyst for healing. It essentially did. I was able to return back to the United States for them to tell me that they found no evidence of cancer”, she added.

Being able to change lives makes the difference she says. We asked Gloria how it feels to be nominated as a Remarkable Woman and she said she was “certainly surprised and grateful for the opportunity”.

She also says she will always support Elisha Ministries and will continue to support this community and others.