“The idea came to me as I was out in the country advertising my new business the old-fashioned way. I was handing out business cards door to door when I stopped at a beautiful nine-acre farm,” Lefler said. “When the older woman who owns the property told me she had purchased that land eight years previous because no one else wanted it, I found that hard to believe. With beautiful flower gardens, a 20,000-square-foot pond in a lower field, and large rocks cascading down a mountain slope, it just looked like gorgeous farmland to me.”
Lefler said the woman went on to tell her how she had lived in the middle of all that “junk” for four years, slowly removing the junk piece by piece.
“That's when I thought what a wonderful analogy for how God works in our lives. For instance, He will take our junk from us, if we allow him to, and He will make it usable and even beautiful. There's nothing quick about it, in my experience, and it is often very painful. So allowing God to have our junk, and make us usable has pretty much been our main message,” Lefler said.
This year’s Junkyard Revival will be held Saturday from noon to 4 p.m. at Shades of Grace United Methodist Church, located at 313 E. Sullivan St. in downtown Kingsport.
Lunch will be served at noon with a program of music, skits and inspirational messages beginning at 1 p.m.
Scheduled speakers include Tina Ann Tucker-Coggins, Dora Simmons, Carol Woody, Nanette Franklin, Pat Wininger, Patricia Stover and Peggy Turner.
“When we began this outreach event, there were no programs or outreach efforts being made — that I was aware of — for the women in this community that I called the ‘untouchables’ of society. On the morning of that first year’s event, we went out and literally picked women up from the streets — at least one woman having slept under a city bridge the night before — and transported them to the country for a day of picnic lunches, a clothing give-away, music, fellowship, prayer and messages from guest speakers,” said Lefler.
Lefler said she understands the challenges these women face. In 2011, Lefler was released from prison and was court ordered to stay in Kingsport.
“I lived down from the Salvation Army for four years, watching these women walk about. There was no Oasis or Shades of Grace then. I met Will Shewey (pastor of Shades of Grace) in 2012, as we were both a part of a new ministry called Get Real, which met every Friday evening at Colonial Heights United Methodist Church then. He gave his testimony a time or two, and he spoke about his vision for Shades of Grace,” she said.
Lefler said she has always been most comfortable supporting other ministries, such as Hope House Pregnancy Crisis Center, where she has volunteered since 2012.
“I never meant to start a ministry myself. In fact, I can't really say I have, as this has only been an annual outreach event, funded by my business efforts and clients of Junkyard Revival Landscape Management, the business I was beginning back when I stepped onto that beautiful country farm that was once a junkyard,” she said.
This year’s Junkyard Revival will be the fourth — and final — event.
“There are tremendous outreach efforts being made in Kingsport now, and on a daily basis, to both women and men who have reached that place in life where society no longer values them. Thankfully, our Father in Heaven doesn't see things the same way, and He has called Godly women and men, like Will Shewey, to serve and to reach out daily to the lost, last, least and lonely,” Lefler said.
For more information on the Junkyard Revivial, contact Lefler at email@example.com or (423) 276-7652 or visit the JunkYard Revival Women’s Event Facebook page.