Elli Fugate

@pbandelli

Hey! My name's Elli. 

I'm a Native Nebraskan. Currently, serving as a FOCUS missionary at the University of California - Santa Barbara. 

Where I serve 


Originally from a small midwestern town in central Nebraska, I graduated from the University of Nebraska Lincoln with a Bachelors in Journalism. Upon hearing the call from God to serve Him through FOCUS I decided to forgo a mainstream Advertising career to begin my first year of mission work at the University of South Dakota. I absolutely fell in love with the work of being a Missionary. Two years later, I was asked to serve as the Team Director Missionary at the University of Santa Barbara - California. I am excited to return for my third year to share life with the UCSB students, forming authentic friendships and walking alongside them into a deeper encounter with the love of Jesus Christ! 

(Also, I'am so so excited to get starbs with the girls and to hike SB with the Chismosas! Surf's up babes, it's time to hit the beach again.)

My Story 

 Living a secular life with a Catholic title. Raised by a faithful Catholic mother with a devotion to the rosary I was confirmed a Catholic. By the time I came to college my faith was reduced to a title. I was Catholic, but I didn't know why. I just knew I couldn't miss Sunday mass. It wasn't until I was confronted by an atheist in class who questioned my faith that I realized I needed to discover why I was still carrying the Catholic title or ditch it entirely. Jesus allowed me to encounter him radically through small yes's and a lot of no's. I started saying no to my secular life of living in a sorority allowing my life to be run by the world and yes to the promptings of my heart to live a life of freedom in the love of Jesus Christ. One mission trip and my life was altered radically. I discovered the identity behind the Catholic title and I belonged as a daughter to Jesus Christ. I had met, "normal" young Catholics who were interesting and lived lives of unbridled adventure. Under enormous pressure to join the mainstream Advertising world after college my two worlds collided. My faith or my career... I chose FOCUS and found both.

As a missionary, my greatest desire is to lead all students to Christ with as much joy as humanly possible.  My life has been transformed by Jesus and I want nothing more than to bring this joy to others and introduce them to the life-changing message of the Gospel. In His ministry on earth, Jesus humbled Himself to meet us on our level, taking on our humanity, and spent most of His time investing deeply in a few. I look to Jesus’ own example to find the best method of reaching the world. I've been constantly amazed by the different souls I've encountered on campus. 

 Your Impact 

 When I answered the call to join FOCUS, I made the decision to rely on the spiritual and financial support of mission partners to help me through this mission. I've been blessed with the most amazing people who have journeyed with me as I serve on campus. If you are interested in partnering with me, please let me know of the best way to reach you and I will schedule an appointment. I'd be honored to share this mission with you.

Support Elli

Where I serve

God has called me to serve college students. You'll typically find me hanging out at Starbs, Saint Marks University Parish, or longboarding with people around campus. I have a pretty cool story about how Jesus has changed my life -- Come find me and I'd love to share it with you. :)

Originally from a small midwestern town in central Nebraska, I began my first year of mission work at the University of South Dakota, in 2013. There I learned the foundation and beginning tools for what it meant to be a college missionary. Each day is a new adventure in discovering what Santa Barbara holds. It has been exciting to see different cultures, experience new food and grow in relation with students. Come encounter what I do on campus, on the hiking trails, or in Isla Vista on the daily!!

My Story

As a missionary, my greatest desire is to lead all students to Christ. My life has been transformed by Jesus and I want nothing more than to bring this joy to others and introduce them to the life-changing message of the Gospel. In His ministry on earth, Jesus humbled Himself to meet us on our level, taking on our humanity, and spent most of His time investing deeply in a few. I look to Jesus’ own example to find the best method of reaching the world. I've been constantly amazed by the different souls I've encountered on campus.

Your Impact

When I answered the call to join FOCUS, I made the decision to rely on the spiritual and financial support of mission partners to help me through this mission. I've been blessed with the most amazing people who have journeyed with me as I serve on campus. If you are interested in partnering with me, please let me know of the best way to reach you and I will schedule an appointment. I'd be honored to share this mission with you.

Know, Love and Serve God

We encounter God in an intimate relationship through daily prayer, the sacraments and the Scriptures.

Build Virtuous Friendships

By building genuine friendships, we meet students on a deeper level.

Teach Others to Share Christ

We teach students how to share the gospel, who in turn teach other students how to pass it on …