The following material is taken from Ralph D. Winter's excellent article entitiled The Kingdom Strikes Back: Ten Epochs of Redemptive History
There are four different "mission mechanisms" at work throughout history to bless other Peoples:
2)involuntarily going without missionary intent-eg. Joseph, Jonah, Patrick
3)coming voluntarily-eg.Ruth (Israel), Naaman the Syrian, the Queen of Sheba
4)coming involuntarily (as with Gentiles forcibly settled in Israel-2 Kings 17)
Here is just a couple of highlights from Period II: Winning the Barbarians, A.D. 400-800
"The Celts are the most active nation in the first millennium to give an outstanding missionary response."
"Curiously, our phrase Third World comes from those days when Greek and Latin were the first two worlds and the barbarians to the north were the Third World. Using this phrase, Barbarian Europe was won more by the witness and labors of Celtic and Anglo-Saxon converts of the Celts_"Third World missionaries"-than by the efforts of missionaries deriving from Italy or Gaul. This fact was to bear decisively upon the apparently permanent shift of power in Western Europe from the Mediterranean to northern Europe."
"Indeed, the first serious attempt at anything like public education was initiated by the great tribal chieftain, Charlemagne, on the advice and impulse of Anglo-Celtic missionaries and scholars from Britain, such as Alcuin, whose projects eventually required the help of thousands of literate Christians from Britain and Ireland to man schools founded on the Continent."
Unfortunately Period IV: A.D. 1200-1600 saw the most massive and tragic misconstrual of Christian mission in all of history; that of the Crusades. "All of the major Crusades were led by Viking descendants" and "was a savage wound in the the side of the Muslim peoples (a wound which is not healed to this day). The Crusaders established a permanent image of brutal, militant Christianity that alienates a large proportion of mankind, tearing down the value of the very word Christian in missions to this day. The great lesson of the Crusades is that goodwill, even sacrificial obedience to God, is no substitute for a clear understanding of His will"
"...(the) Western world has always spent more on cosmetics than it has on foreign missions-and lately ten times as much."...If we in the West insist on keeping our blessing instead of sharing it, then we will, like other nations before us, have to lose our blessing for the remaining nations to receive it...This Gospel of the Kingdom must be preached in the whole world as a testimony to all peoples, and then shall the end come" (Matt 24:14)--Ralph D. Winter