Voices of Arlington
Voices is where ABB shares stories of how Arlington communities are being transformed with an intimate look at our neighbors, supporters, and behind the scenes work.
Jim Presswood currently serves alongside our Pandemic Response Team and has helped shape the direction of our Pandemic Response Campaign Initiative. Jim is grateful for an organization such as Arlington Bridge Builders, because it has directed his focus on the meaning of serving one another in love, This is his story:
"I grew up in Knoxville, Tennessee. After graduating from school, I moved around the Southeast and then up to the D.C. area in 2005. For most of my career, I have worked for nonprofit advocacy groups focusing on clean energy policies. I live in Arlington with my wife Janet and we’re members of Emmanuel Presbyterian Church.
An interesting fact about me is that I was diagnosed with a cancer in April 2019 called Hodgkin's Lymphoma. The cancer was quite advanced when the doctors diagnosed it, but is one of the most curable types of cancer even in the later stages. The main tumor, which was in my chest, was the size of a grapefruit. The tumor created pressure in my chest, which was painful, and even squeezed my heart.
I spent about eight months going through chemotherapy and radiation. It was a trying time, but the Lord provided. I continued receiving a salary even though I wasn’t able to work that much. My church also came alongside me during that time and was a real blessing. They prayed for me, gave me encouragement, and helped with my practical needs.
My battle with cancer gave me a much better sense of how important it is to be a good steward of my time. It also exposed my spiritual weakness. I was quite fearful when the doctors were trying to figure out what cancer I had. But the Lord demonstrated his power through my weakness. I’m now thankfully in remission and hoping the cancer won’t return.
I have served as a deacon in my church for several years. We are a smaller church, so it is great to have an organization like ABB to help us meet the needs of the poor and vulnerable. We don’t have the capacity in our church to be as proactive in serving these neighbors.
There is a real opportunity right now to help our Latino neighbors, who have been hit the hardest by the pandemic. I believe that ABB is truly following the model of Jesus in being amongst the poor to meet both their practical and spiritual needs."