Diving to New Depths
It began from a merging of passions and continues to grow to new depths. A couple’s love for Christ and for swimming in the open waters is growing into a faith-sharing, underwater adventure.
Edmond couple, John and Cindy Green, began Christian Divers of Oklahoma (CDoO) to link together people with the same passions as themselves.
“We were looking for a dive club, open to any philosophies or beliefs,” John said. “Our church had groups that were based on sports activities. We began asking other people if they would join and they were saying yes. Before long—poof—we had a club.”
Both John and Cindy agree some of the best scuba diving is in Cozumel, Mexico. Recently, CDoO has witnessed a spike in membership due to the direct workings with the Red Cross in Cozumel.
After Hurricane Wilma hit the area hard in 2005, John and Cindy contacted the Red Cross to see how they could help. They learned that the biggest obstacle was the cost of shipping. “For them, a ten dollar item here would cost $100 there, due to the expensive cost of shipping,” Cindy said. “After the hurricane hit, the biggest demand was for medical supplies such as bandages, and latex gloves.”
So CDoO worked out a system with the Scuba Shack, a local scuba shop, as well as customs, and created a program simply titled, “make some space in your case.”
“We have started a medical supply pipeline for the Cozumel Red Cross. What we do and ask others to do is to save a little space in your dive bags so that we can pack some of these basic medical supplies and you can take them down (to Cozumel) on your way,” John said.
Since the conception of this program, the number of club members has reached 75 and most participate in the supply chain. It is important to note that the Red Cross operates the only 24-hour ambulance service on the island of Cozumel, so basic medical supplies are always in high demand.
After helping the Red Cross, it’s time to get into the water. Both John and Cindy will tell you that it is somewhat of a leap of faith when you first put your gear on and jump in the ocean. They also say that it takes a while to wrap your mind around the fact that you are underwater and you’re seeing fish all around you and breathing normally.
“It’s not far off to say that it is a spiritual experience, a real leap of faith,” John said. He also added, “The first time you jump off the boat and you’re starting down, you are going to hear the theme to Jaws running through your head.”
An advantage to diving with large groups is the time allowed to gain friendships and share stories of past experiences. “You can only be under the water for so long. When we go on these three or four day trips, you have some time to really get to know some great people,” Cindy said.
A common misconception is that scuba diving requires expensive equipment and extensive training to get certified. Actually, a mask and fins are the only equipment you are required to buy. Most diving shops have rentals on regulators and tanks. Certification can usually be completed in two weekends, with one being spent in a swimming pool getting used to being under water, and the other spent in open water to get the feel of being free to move around.
“I have never met anyone yet that has gone through the certification, and then gone on a dive and didn’t just love it,” John said.
More information is available at www.cdoo.tv. John and Cindy would be glad to answer any questions about scuba diving, getting certified, sharks, or one of their most enjoyable activities— nighttime scuba diving.