41 year old Jerome Rose is determined to continue an uncompromising walk of obedience to the call of God. He was dismissed by the City of Cape Town as a MyCiti bus driver on November 13 after repeatedly leading passengers in prayer despite receiving a written warning on November 6. But he maintains that God called him to carry on praying for passengers who needed his short yet powerful prayers of protection and encouragement each morning.
Listen below to a recording, by Tygerberg 104FM, of Rose giving a demonstration of a typical prayer that he prayed over his passengers daily at the start of his route from Atlantis to the Cape Town city centre. The prayer lasts for about 15 seconds.
In a telephone interview with Gateway News, Rose said he was brought up in a Christian family but faced difficult times as a young adult before he finally heeded the Lord’s call. He said that at the age of 21 he started drinking and smoking marijuana and that he started using tik at the age of 28 – that was almost 15 years ago. During this troubled time he and his brothers began dealing in drugs. But despite their ungodly lifestyle they were always searching for something that could complete them and at the age of 31 this was exactly what he found in Christ. His journey back to the Lord began when he was shot at and he saw that the bullet had narrowly missed him. He responded to the close shave with death by making a promise to the Lord that he would serve him. He had made a similar promise to God before at the age of 28 but had not followed through.
After the shooting incident he decided to return to his home town of Pniel from Atlantis and he and his brothers accepted Christ. Rose says that their parents had never stopped praying for them and never gave up on them. He adds that in this day and age parents should never give up on praying for their children, as his parents had a great influence on his life as they had never stopped caring.
Coming from a family of evangelists he said his family has a ministry of spreading the Gospel together. They have been invited to speak at several churches over the years and have been used by God to change the lives of both parents and children. They have ministered on trains and buses and to those who have been willing to listen.
Speaking about the bus prayers which led to his dismissal, Rose said that the voice of God had told him to pray before embarking on his morning trips.
“Its not that I dismissed the regulations of the company; it is just that the Holy Spirit’s voice had led to do this,” he said.
Rose said that God is still ministering through his story and that he feels blessed to be used in such a way. He said his prayers were short and powerful and that several passengers were excited about them. He said that his prayers also changed the atmosphere in the bus. He mentioned that on one occasion there were two ladies on Facebook that said they were having a bad day but after hearing the morning prayer their days were much better. Many passengers commended and encouraged him, as this was not something new, it was just something different. Several people in Atlantis remain upset over what has happened to the “praying bus driver”.
Rose said: “People ask me how you are and there are some that say that what happened was unfair, however if you stand for something good you’re blessed but if you stand for God you’re anointed. I couldn’t have asked for anything better as God will never forsake me.”
He said he feels excited because God is still working with him as his story has spread the Gospel across the world.
Rose said it is difficult to say how things might develop as he will only move as God directs. But he said he did not see the situation between himself and his former employers as a fight and that “it is not going to be tooth-for-tooth” as he would “only stand for God’s name”.
Rose said that the appeal against his dismissal will be taken further by the union on Monday, November 30. He said he has had job offers from Tygerberg 104 FM, CCFM and another bus service company but he he would like to do Christian evangelical work as people now know him as the praying bus driver.
He recently told News24 that should his appeal result in him being offered his job back, he only had one requirement.
“I want it in black and white that I am allowed to pray for me and my passengers,” he said.